Product Type: Spinmaster Art / Craft
Newest Review: ... a choice of themes - space and sky, sweets and treats, animals etc. In these packs you are provided with an assortment of colours and a gui... more
Colourful,bendy and they dont stick to dogs!
Spin Master Bendaroos Amazing Flexible Building Sticks
Member Name: Loupoppins
Spin Master Bendaroos Amazing Flexible Building Sticks
Advantages: Great fun, simple, re-usable, mess free(relatively!) appeal to wide age range,encourage imagination
Disadvantages: slightly pricey
Once my second child came along I was a little more tired and a little less enthusiastic about possible mess making activities such as painting. Never the less I still regularly dragged out the art box and let her indulge her creative side. As my family continued to grow however, so did my dislike of paints and my loathing of glitter. My youngest child, now aged 2, it must be said has not had the same early experiences of creative materials that his older siblings got. This does not limit his creativity however it seems. Have you any idea what a wonderful wall covering tomato ketchup makes, or just how effective chocolate mouse can be as a face paint?
There is therefore a certain type of product that always appeals to me. The products that are marketed as "great creative fun, with NO mess" Hooorrray! Now of course, over the years many such products have found their way into our house, and yes, I have to admit, that in the majority of cases I have been ashamedly duped by marketing ploys. Usually there is mess involved, often their is little fun or creativity to be had.
And so it was with cautious optimism that I purchased my first pack of Bendaroos. The advertising certainly made them sound appealing. Colourful flexible sticks that could be bent and moulded and stuck together. No need for paint, or glue. Non staining and re-usable. Brilliant. Hours of creative fun for my creative little mess monsters...without the mess!
** What They Are**
Bendaroos are basically brightly coloured long waxy strings. They in fact have a wire core, not too dissimilar to a pipe -cleaner, but are covered in a brightly coloured waxy substance. They are available in various packs, and we bought an assorted beginner's pack with about 200 Bendaroos in.
Being a cautious and experienced Mummy, I opened the box without the children present. This gave me an invaluable chance to make my own assessment of the potential risks of the product(I'm not talking risk of serious injury here, even I know that serious injury is unlikely from a waxy bendy piece of string. I'm more thinking along the lines of major mess or permanent structural household damage!) So emptying out the box I find a nice colourful mixture of, yes little bendy pieces of string! On closer inspection I notice with some alarm they have a slightly tacky feel to them, but after a good bit of fumbling with one I was pleasantly surprised to see no residual colour on my hands (which could then obviously be transferred to any multitude of household surfaces in an instant!)
The little waxy strings were indeed truly bendy. They retained well any shape into which they were moulded. The slight tackiness made it possible to stick pieces together with relative ease. I made some quick further investigations, and having re-assured myself that they weren't going to stick permanently to the dining room table , television set or the dog (best to cover all eventualities when you live in a house where children outnumber adults 3:1 !) I called in my little darlings.
**How Are They to Play With**
My children (well 5 out of 6 as my oldest now opts out of craft!) were all immediately impressed by the bright colours.
Obviously they had all seen various TV ads, so knew what they were and what to do with them(although my 2 year old initially seemed to be possibly confusing them with Coco Pops straws- but it's OK, they're non-toxic!) And so an amazing thing happened. They were actually able to play happily with them with the minimum of intervention from me for some fairly significant time!
My 2 year old was the first to get bored with them. Having discovered early on that they weren't edible, and that they didn't stick to the dog he soon lost interest. Now in fairness this product is marketed for over 3's,but in this household nothing much gets passed the 2year old!
The other children who ranged in age from 4to10,all played with them for well over 40 minutes, which is something of a record for a joint child activity with minimal adult intervention! My oldest daughter made some truly impressive3D models by twisting and sticking various colours together. Her ambition did slightly get the better of her, and her attempt at the Eifel Tower did have more of a Leaning Tower of Pisa look about it, but none the less some of the things she was able to make were genuinely impressive. My middle daughter had lots of fun twisting various strands to make friendship style bracelets for all the family which again turned out surprisingly well. The younger children stuck to more basic 2d shapes on the table but were delighted to find that they could unravel their creations easily and start again.
There was particular rejoicing when they discovered that the shapes they made could be stuck to the windows, and more importantly I would let them!(remember my pre-play safety assessment? Yep I checked they were easily removable from the windows!) Now we did discover that there was a weight limit to what would stick reliably to the window. Some of the bulkier creations gradually lost their grip and flopped to the floor, much to the delight of the dog who seemed to disagree with my son in her assessment of whether or not these were edible. None the less the window was soon covered in an array of colourful creations to rival any art gallery. So proud were my daughters of their creations that I was made to leave them on the window for somewhat longer than my Mummy sense suggested was wise. This did lead to a nice array of greasy marks on the window which took more than a little elbow grease and windowlene to remove, but on the whole not too bad as far as potential creative mess goes.
At the end of creative fun it was perfectly possible to re-starighten the Bendaroos to be stored for re-use. It should be noted though that eventually after multiple uses they can become somewhat less tacky and more brittle making them harder to mould and stick. It is however also possible that these seemingly innocent pieces of bendy string will escape and hide themselves in all manner of places around the house, just waiting to be walked into the flooring, or run through the washing machine. However I am pleased to report that both these situations are relatively easy to fix and leave no permanent damage. In fact I can also happily tell you that tumble drying a Bendaroo is much less of a disaster than tumble drying a wax crayon ( you see how much further I go to give you wonderful dooyooers the most in depth reviews!)
I must say we loved these. They are perhaps slightly pricey for what they are, but they kept my rabble happily and creatively entertained for a long time. They required very little adult supervision or assistance. They are really simple, and really let the children's imagination take over unhindered. They are reusable, up to a point, they don't cause any permanent damage and little mess, and they don't stick to Dogs. What more can I say!
Summary: Great mess free creative fun
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