Does it Work: Bendaroos

(KPLC) – Karan Palmer cares for 16 3- to 4-year-old children at J.I. Watson Head Start in Iowa, LA. The students spend part of their day learning about shapes and colors, so we brought our colorful pack of Bendaroos to her class to see how well they can hold the interest of the kids.

The "mega pack" comes with 500 sticks in a variety of 12 different colors (six regular and six neon).

After opening the package and emptying the packets, the sticks were only on the table for a few seconds and the kids were ready to play. They were excited to choose different colors, making a variety of imaginative items. A few twisted the wax-like sticks together into bracelets and rings, others made rainbows while another made a house. Mom even helped to make a pretty flower.

The Bendaroos cut easily with safety scissors for shorter lengths. Clean up was a learning experience too, by pulling apart and separating the Bendaroos back into color-coordinated piles. The Bendaroos clearly sparked the imaginations of a room full of children.

"I encourage parents to get it," Kiaone Johnson, mother of one of the children, said. "It's real helpful with colors. The activities are wonderful."

Palmer added, "It captured their attention and kept their attention. Even the ones that were not usually verbal, they were very verbal in expressing what they were doing with the Bendaroos. Also for one, whose attention span was really short, he stayed and he played with the Bendaroos so it really captured their attention."

But the real answer to the test must come from the kiddos.

Karan: "Did you like the Bendaroos?"
Kids: "Yeah!"
Karan: "Would you play with the Bendaroos again?"
Kids: "Yeah!"

"What makes it great for parents and teachers is that it's easy cleanup," said Palmer commented.

Bendaroos mold into a "Yes" for this week's "Does it Work?" test.  We found Bendaroos selling locally for $19.99.

Web Extra:  The kids really seemed to enjoy exploring their imagination with the Bendaroos.  They had 30 minutes to do what they wanted with the toys, and just about every kid was still interested in building shapes and items with the Bendaroos by the end.

They used the sticks to create shapes, letters, and designs, and some parents made a design and the kids would try to mimic on their own. Palmer liked that the Bendaroos helped students learn letters, shapes, colors, and work their fine-motor skills.

The box comes with a guide to build some basic to elaborate objects in 2D and 3D.

Older children may have fun challenging their skills to build more complex animals and objects.  The objects are sticky, but they don't seem to leave marks or a mess.  As far as durability, we did not test how long the sticks last.

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