Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Squishy Prints Make Happy Feet

It is play or it is exercise or is he about to make me do some acrobatics?

WHAT: Squishy Prints- Foot Prints by Abilitations
DOES: play walking games, Twister-type follow-direction games, make up your own game, give them something to walk on besides your sofa!
INVEST:  $49.99
AGES: Not sure but I would think somewhere between 1-99 year(s) old
TOOLS: Family Fix-its, Holiday/Birthday Build-Uponner,  My Body Needs to Move, Remember to Learn
EXPERT OPINION: Mike Pfeiffer, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Owner/Director, Leaps and Bounds Pediatric Therapy
GIVEAWAY:  Win your very own set of Squishy Prints  (U.S, addresses only please!)

I have two children who have very high maintenance feet.  One pair likes to run, or make flighty hops like Peter Pan.  The other likes to stomp, and at times, just jump up and down like a pogo stick.

We live in an apartment and I LOVE my neighbors downstairs.  They are so incredibly understanding and so I need to do my share and pad up my place as much as possible while I attempt to give my kids' feet the maintenance it requires.   But my choices are limited.  I have no backyard and when it is cold out or really hot out, going out is OUT of the question.

I have always encouraged all testers to remain anonymous.  It makes it easier for me to talk about them on a more personal level.  However, Tester #1 insisted that he engage the audience this time. 

Previous Feet-Pleasers

So what can an active pair of feet do to satisfy themselves?  There are many things I like. You can have your kids stand as they watch T.V.  You can let them rest their feet on a beanbag when they're on the floor.  You can even give them a foot massage or do some yoga or other exercise.  Even though the latter doesn't focus on the feet, it could wear your body out enough that you can forget your feet.

I would love it if my kids could just walk all over the Abilitations Spacewalk but since we can't have that, I have decided to go a totally different direction.  Thus, I am giving them more ways to just make up games that allow their feet to become the star of the game.

You can also purchase the handprints set or both sets together.

Put Kids in Charge of the Active Feet

To me, when I have my kids play with these, they are the ones in control of pleasing their feet and the rest of their body.  They are making steppingstone crossings, obstacle courses, and who knows what else!  To be sure, the Squishy Prints are not like jumping on the bed but they take up such little space and they are versatile and portable.  You have to supervise trampoline or bed jumping but with Squishy Prints, you won't get a big bounce but you'll have the kids creating their own active game as they think of new ways to make their playmate trip and fall.

But I know that Squishy Prints has bigger aspirations than pleasing my two guys' feet so I decided to ask Mike Pfeiffer, owner of Leaps and Bounds, a stellar pediatric clinic in New York City.  Every year, parents are always trying to secure a spot in his clinic that provides occupational, physical, and speech therapy services on site.

I found that this is great not just for practicing following directions but also giving good directions which I realized, I don't do very well- No wonder my kids don't listen to me.  I make noooooooooooooo sense!

Giving and Following Directions

"For gross motor skills and for following directions, it was great!"  said Mike.   He found it very easy to use in that they served as good "visual anchors" as he liked to call it.  "They really step on it!  The colors allowed us to basically say, 'go to the red one,' 'blue’s next,' 'yellow’s next.'"  Many of the occupational and physical therapists at Mike's clinic tried it out and still use it whenever needed.

Mike was able to use Squishy Prints all over the obstacle course in his gym.  By adjusting the location of the prints, he could use the different colors to create the visual cues that helped him direct the children efficiently.  "You always want to give them a visual anchor to do something because sometimes they become disorganized and they just get lost."  It's funny because that is exactly what happens in my house!!!

Mikes says the liquid in the pouch gives kids biofeedback on their feet.  I much prefer the prints giving this biofeedback than say... sprinting across the living room.

I totally forgot that there are a bunch of desk toys like this too! FUN!

Got Enough Squish?

But what about the squishy part of Squishy Prints?  Is there enough squish to placate the high maintenance feet at home?  Well, I think for some kids it could but obviously this doesn't replace a trampoline.  Mike also says that he likes to use different textures and fabric to make certain kids' feet happy.  But what I really like about the Squishy Prints is that the design invites kids to make up their own active games.  Mike and I both noticed that they can slide on the carpet a bit and so my kids like to use them as carpet skates.  (I don't recommend you do that too much though but none of them have popped.)

Ever wonder who would make something like this?  It's so clever!  Twister, step aside!  Squishy Prints are in town!

Some of his therapists wished that the prints were a little bouncier and I do too but I have a feeling that this could cause popping problems and I would rather have less squish than a popping risk.

But all I know is that these prints make me so happy whenever I see them.  To make sure they get played with,  I leave them out in plain view.  I do not put them away in a drawer.  I don't want their play to be parent-directed but rather be social and spontaneous.  Because of all the colors, the kids can easily give each other play ideas which institutes a social speech skill that can lead into a really fun time. To me, all this squishy talk means just one thing: if your feet are happy, then you're happy too!

Worried that there is no sequence?  Number 1 suggests we use the color wheel!
If you must put the Squishy Prints away then at least make sure that it gets to be in a box with a snazzy cover in view.  A picture of your kid playing with it is a great way to entice interest. I think a clean small pizza box could maybe be a perfect fit.

Remind you of any popular arcade game?  D_nce D_nce R_v_lution?

Really, the sky is the limit with Squishy Prints!  Just because you are not finding them in a "toy store" doesn't mean that this isn't a true gem! Model out-of-the-box thinking to your kids! I am bummed that I never asked to see the Handprints.  The set together would be tons of fun!

And now here's your chance to win your very own set of Squishy Prints!  MSRP $49.99!!! 

But we are taking a rather simple approach this time!  We just ask that you sign up for the feed VIA email please and please make sure you verify!  Additional points would be to leave a comment.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!  US only addresses please!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Where to buy? 
Go to www.abilitations.com and click here for the FEET and click here for the HANDS!

I also found a link to Squishy Handprints on Amazon too.  Use my link to support Toys are Tools!

ALSO, This is important to say:  We love the companies that send us product submissions.  They have always left it up to me to figure out the fun ways to win something.  So if you are a social media aficionado, please pay a virtual visit to these pages and show them some love because there are very few companies that makes stuff like them.  Their designers are awesome- some of them are average joe parents  just like us!


Same goes for me too.  Please like my Facebook page and please like this post to help spread the word!

Disclosure:  Toys are Tools was not compensated by the manufacturer for the publication of this review.  The items were provided to Toys are Tools and the expert to facilitate a review.  Reviews are never promised.  The giveaway prize is being donated by the manufacturer.


  1. My sensory seeker would love to try these out!

  2. I can see all my kids having fun with this!