Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
My thirteen-year-old high functioning son on the autism spectrum used to spend hours building Bionicle Lego toys. They were displayed all over the house. Now we have TOOBEEZ, which is similar to tinker toys, but on a much larger scale. These bright colorful tubes come in several lengths with many combinations, depending on whether you opt for the 15, 31 or 57 piece kit.
TOOBEEZ has a giant white storage bag with a zipper that is a bit longer than a portable playpen bag. The pieces for the kits are known as tubes, spheres and curtains. Tube sizes are 11, 16, 24 and 26 inches and the spheres each have ten keyoles. The slide on curtains come in red and blue colors. They are easy to connect by holding the tube and inserting into keyhole in sphere.
Connect, Twist and Create all sorts of designs:
Super Jet Fighter
Ship & Crew
TOOBEEZ is suitable for indoor and outdoor fun while being portable to take to the beach, vacation, school and camp. The creations can be made solo, as a family or a group activity. This will help spark the imagination of kids within all age ranges.
My son involved the cat with his creations and designs. The child can get into a costume and live out a fantasy, get physical with other creations that involve sports and fine tune their motor skills. This helps children with autism work on coordination, enhances their critical thinking skills and develop problem solving skills.
TOOBEEZ has developed activity workbooks that are called Project Connect Series. They are available for $29.99 each at Project Connect. There will be an Early Learner Series in the near future. These workbooks consist of:
Teambuilding Activity Workbook
Language Arts Activity Workbook
Math Activity Workbook
Physical Education Activity Workbook
Science Activity Workbook
Occupational Therapy Activity Workbook
Senior Therapy Activity Workbook
The Math Activity Workbook has ten unique group activities for intermediate learners. These consist of Math Hot Potato, Polygons and Polyhedra, Protractor Practice and You Sank My Battleshape. My son Nicholas found room in the living room to spread out the tubes and spheres to begin his creations. At first he was unsure how to use the curtains, but once I showed him how they slip through the tubes he was placing them in many spots for the cat to sit and watch him build.
The cat was a bit scared in this photo, but seemed fine doing a balancing act on the following picture.
The TOOBEEZ colors are red, yellow, blue and green. To take apart the creations you align the triangles and pull them apart. Everything fits nicely inside the storage bag.
You can use the TOOBEEZ to make items you would normally have to buy in the store, like a cat house can be put together with the tubes and spheres - this idea is courtesy of Nicholas. The tubes are light weight and the sides turn so they can connect to the spheres and other tubes. With a large kit you can easily make a fort, castle or obstacle course.
The downside is that if you are in small room you might not be able to leave the creation up for long due to space constraints. Nicholas makes his designs while my other son Matthew is in school. We need to move them away from his path and usually deconstruct before he returns home. The tubes do not bend and are well made and sturdy.
Also the storage bag takes up a lot of space. The recommended age starts at three. There are pictures that show the designs possible with each kit, which does include utilizing in the water with pool volleyball and submarine. There is a hurdle design that has a young child stepping on the tube. There is an important note stating that TOOBEEZ were not designed for use as a climb on structure or a water safety floatation device.
Whichever kit is purchased of TOOBEEZ this is sure to keep kids engaged indoors while stuck inside due to rain or snow conditions. Nicholas has made a cube, helicopter, cat house, fort, windmill, scooter and a trampoline.
Nicholas says it is fun and entertaining and that you can never get bored with the TOOBEEZ. If you are looking for something to spark imagination or creativity in your child, this is the ultimate giant construction building toy for kids of all ages. This makes a great activity for a birthday party, summer party, holiday gift and something to have at grandparents house for visits. Therapists, clinics and support groups take note of this educational building toy.
Please read their Safety page for specific instructions. For International orders. TOOBEEZ FAQs
Nicholas is very excited to create new designs for his cat and to see what he can come up with from his own imagination. The prices range from $34.99 to $129.99 for the TOOBEEZ kits.
Here is a nice visual of a kit from a family on youtube.