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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Arrazzles---a dazzling way to build (a review)

How about a building toy that won’t impale or cripple you if you happen to step on a stray piece while damsel-carrying your 4-year-old up to bed? 

With pieces that are big enough that they really can’t be crammed into an air conditioner or flushed down the toilet? 

Plus it’s fun (and safe) for kids of most ages? 

With 2 boys who love to build and an adventurous (ahem) 4-year-0ld who loves to test the limits of probability (we won’t catalog all the things she’s stuffed where, but we will say that, yes, those are poker chips stuck in the air conditioner---so much for my math manipulatives), Arrazzles seemed like a toy made in heaven for this household and I was thrilled when Funnybone Toys offered me the opportunity to review it.

Arrazzles---a new kind of building toy  from Funnybone Toys, a review at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Arrazzles are thick cards with a metallic laminated finish on both sides and slots at regular intervals.  If you look closely at the picture above, you’ll notice that the cards are not all the same.  There are five different colors and five different slot patterns.

What surprised me:

Arrazzles are very large and very sturdy.  You don’t really get an accurate idea of their size from the product info on the website (I really expected them to be much smaller).  Here’s a picture of my 9-year-old daughter building with them so you can get an idea of size:

Arrazzles---a building toy for ages 4 and up

I was worried before I received them that I would need to keep them out of reach of my 4-year-old, because…well…this child is very good at breaking things.  And losing them.  She just likes to push things to their limit to see what will happen.

Winking smile

I didn’t think the cardboard would stand up to her superhuman strength.

Wrong! 

Arrazzles are great even for young ones.  It is probably possible for a determined child to destroy them, but it really would take a concentrated effort.  So far we have had no Arrazzle casualties.  And Em loves them.

One of them even stood up to being washed in the sink (don’t ask)---the edges soaked up some water, but when it dried it was good as new.

I’m very impressed with the quality.  Even the box is quite sturdy and will probably hold up to my kids---unless one of them decides to use it as a step stool (which, to be totally honest, could happen).  Hey, that’s what plastic bags are for.

What do we love:

Arrazzles are fun to fiddle with.  While there are suggestions for playing games with them (like memory---the cards are a different color on each side), my kid testers found that they were best straight out of the box without any instructions. 

All 4 of my kids, both boys and girls ages 4, 8, 9, and 13, love them.  Even my 9-year-old daughter who’s not so keen on building as a rule loves to explore patterns with Arrazzles.

You get 45 cards in a set, which is enough for 2 kids to share and build 2 different structures at the same time.  3 maybe…if the structures are pretty simple.

Interestingly, they seem to naturally gravitate towards creating symmetry with Arrazzles.

Arrazzles are great for exploring symmetry

You can also mix in other elements, like dowels or straws (think wheels---I’m surprised my kids haven’t tried that yet, although they wouldn’t really roll smoothly---the cards are 12-sided, so not quite circles).

Arrazzles give new meaning to "building a house of cards"

The best part…Arrazzles are so easy to clean up and all fit neatly and snugly into a small, cube-ish box that can go on a shelf. 

This is definitely not the nightmare storage problem I currently have with my sons’ collections of building bricks.  There’s something to be said for simplicity sometimes.

Overall, we highly recommend Arrazzles for kids about 4 and up. 

Arrazzles are available from Funnybone Toys for $24.99.

Disclosure:  I received a free set of Arrazzles from Funnybone Toys in order to facilitate this review.  I received no monetary compensation and this post contains no affiliate links.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

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2 comments:

  1. These look neat! I love toys that my kids can be creative with! Thank you for sharing!

    I found your post on Blogging Homeschoolers Daily Post Share.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for stopping by, Missy. :)

    ReplyDelete

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