|Bluebird's Nest by Number 2 using Twilight and Sunburst Hypercolor Putty by Crazy Aaron's PuttyWorld|
WHAT: Heat Sensitive Hypercolor Putty by Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty
DOES: fidget to focus, fidget to wake up your creativity, fidget and be social, fidget and make art, fidget and feel alive!!!
INVEST: $11 MSRP (3.2 oz tin)
AGES: 3+ (I could do 2+ but only with supervision)
TOOLS: Family Fix-its, Holiday/Birthday Build-Uponner, Social Scene Helper, Think Like a Scientist/EngineerGIVEAWAY and DISCOUNT CODE: Win a tin of Glow-in-the-Dark Putty and one Heat Sensitive Hypercolor Putty too! U.S. addresses only please... See Discount Code info below.
EXPERT OPINION: Pediatric Occupational Therapist Susan L. Roberts, MDiv, OTR/L
EXPERT OPINION: Pediatric Occupational Therapist Susan L. Roberts, MDiv, OTR/L
|Because you're HOT then you're COLD, it's YES then it's NO..... Hypercolor putty kind of acts like a person|
I don't know why I have never purchased putty until this year. Maybe it's because I have so many choices already in terms of amorphous substances... Nah... that can't be why... I love variety!
After thinking long and hard about it, I have to say that it might be because it is associated with plastic eggs. I don't know about you but after many Easter egg hunts I have come to realize that rarely does anything desirable ever come out of plastic eggs. I usually have to throw the contents away when the kids go to sleep.
But either way, I'm glad I have discovered it now. My putty comes from Crazy Aaron's Putty World and thankfully it comes in an easy-to-open but not easily-deforming tin. If you do not own putty, then by the end of this review, I have a feeling you will start shopping immediately. Yes. I kid you not. It's that good.
What Is Putty?
I don't really know what putty is made of. I'm sure it is not hard to find out but I am just too busy playing with it to figure it out. All that matters is that I have enough putty because when I have a good amount, I can do a lot. But since it is Occupational Therapy Week and April is Occupational Therapy Month, let's start with that. What is occupational therapy? To me, it is treatment to help you carry out your duties in life. If you have a stroke and your brain forgot the mechanics of brushing your teeth, you will see an occupational therapist and he will help you re-learn this skill so that you will not have giant dental pain after your stroke.
I have met so many therapists but OT (short for Occupational Therapy or Occupational Therapist) is a profession that seems to have its hands on everything. If you have a problem, an OT may likely have something helpful to suggest. It could range from something very obvious like carpal tunnel syndrome (an occupation-related problem) to something very obscure like dizziness? Do you fall down when you close your eyes? Well, you might have a vestibular issue and then you'd see an OT for help.
|Did you know that kids are not supposed to share putty when they get OT? That means your school or clinic must parcel out bits for each. If you like putty, be a dear and send your kid to school with his own tin! I bet your OT will love you. Darn, that means I need to do this too!|
So it is no wonder that my first review of the most amorphous toy in the world is with an OT. Her name is Susan Roberts, author of My Kid Eats Everything and she helps kids with lots of things like eating and writing. You might think that is really weird to be an expert in those two areas but if you are an OT, you'll know how connected they are.
As an OT, Susan is no stranger to putty but she has generally purchased them in therapy product retailers however, after trying Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty Hypercolor, she told me that this putty was similar in resistance to the medium-level firm putties found in therapy stores. Additionally, she told me that Crazy Aaron's prices were quite reasonable. Good news from a person who frequently uses putty as a tool for kids!
|Revive interest in old toys and puzzles with putty|
But why does an OT even need putty? What does it do? Actually, the question is more: What can your child do with putty? As I found out, there is a lot they can do. Here are some great plusses:
1. Easy to Touch
I think what Susan means by that is that it is not gross. Some kids get grossed out by different things. Chalk could make a child crazy.... so can sand. For such kids, (like Number 2), putty is great! It is really easy to touch because it doesn't stick to you. "It feels good in the hands. It strengthens the fingers," Susan said. After putty, the second easiest to touch substance is playdough, according to Susan. I totally agree with Susan. Not only does it feel good, I think it feels really great to the kids whose hands need to be doing something.
You may recognize them. They might be doodling or something not so great like picking their teeth, their nose, their fingers, their scabs, their pimples, etc... It just goes on. Putty is more sanitary and more socially acceptable, wouldn't you agree?
|This is his art. He was so proud of it that he was literally embarrassed. I think it looks like a subway map which is something he loves to draw.|
2. More Strength
Susan uses putty to help kids with strengthening. There are 25 little muscles in your hands alone. "When you take a big lump like this and you’ve got a handful and you squeeze it, it strengthens your hand and also all of the forearm muscles as well. That is great! We need that for more control especially for something kids have to do a lot. Oh, yes, I 'm talking about handwriting folks. The subject that some of the Toys are Tools testers really hate.
|With playdough, these two colors would get mixed but with Crazy Aaron's Hypercolor, it's only a matter of time before these two colors become one again. You gotta be fast tho! That means more exercise for the kids!|
3. Learn in 3D
"The fact that it’s in three dimensions is going to stimulate more nerve cells rather than if it’s in two dimensions," Susan explained. For a moment, I was wondering how we learn in 2D? Oh, television... but Susan actually said, that writing with your hand whether it is in the sand or on paper is more of a 2D way of learning. Thus, Susan may ask kids to make a snake with putty and then make a letter or a face out of them.
For example, if your child is not getting stroke order when writing a letter, then it might be good to start with putty and then get them to do it on paper. I think putty would slow them down so that they are working in the correct stroke order. Ever try to teach a kid to slow down while writing one single letter to get stroke order correct? I bet the kid may be thinking, "Why should I? It looks fine just like this." And he would make a valid point but we know that stroke order could make them more efficient but it's hard to convince a young child of this.
|If I may take this opportunity to say that yes I did tweet this story but in no way did I write it. I can't tell you how many people asked me last week if I wrote this story. Social media overwhelms me but I will try my best to keep sharing good news.|
4. It's Really Great Play
For Susan, one of the most important things about play is "motor control." When kids are playing, they are doing what they want to do and that means they are using their bodies and so automatically, they are practicing their motor control. Motor control is what Susan is after when she has kids play with putty. And while she can use other things (because OT can make a paperclip therapeutic) she chooses putty because putty is fun. "If it’s not fun, it won’t get done." I guess she is right. So what about the color-changing aspect of Hypercolor putty? How much of a motivating factor is it?
"I think it is HUGE," said Susan.
|Susan is right. I think Hypercolors are really really special.|
The Appeal of Feel
Toys are Tools testers will agree. Number 6's mom said she would try the Hypercolor with her daughter but didn't really quite get the appeal. But after she received it, she was so surprised how her daughter was taking it around with her everywhere. She herself found that it was quite delectable to make that cracking sound that I could never achieve with chewing gum. But really I'm not surprised which is why I pushed it on Number 6. I know she's a very good artist and I know she likes to keep her hands busy. Putty does not disappoint.
The Appeal of Bounce
Number 1 and 2 love putty. Number 1 has tried other brand putties and feels that Crazy Aaron's hypercolor has a very good bounce. But I was upset that he wanted to bounce it around in school. "Don't bring that one back home." I said. Additionally, Susan told me that in clinical situations, putty should not be shared so she likes that a good amount is provided in each 3.2 oz tin. Since it is not so expensive and doesn't dry out, I would suggest to parents to send their kid to OT with their own tin of putty. That would give more opportunities for strengthening and be more sanitary.
The Appeal of Challenge
Susan also suggested that putting objects in putty and having kids pull it out is another great way of playing with putty. I had heard of this activity before and didn't think much of it at the time. What is the big deal, you just pull it out? However, I then watched my kids play this way and if I could draw a thought bubble on top of their head, it would say, "I MUST GET THESE THINGS OUT OF THIS PUTTY RIGHT NOW" It's proprioceptive catnip.(my version of SPD talk) You can't resist! Moreover, with hypercolor, you will get them hooked visually.
There are so many things you can do with putty. My video and photos will give you some ideas but feel free to ignore them and just go ahead and dream up your own! And if you have something great, please share it here so I can post on Facebook! OR send photos or a YouTube link to firstname.lastname@example.org! If it is totally crazy, I may just feature it as its own blog post. You can be anonymous but your kid may prefer not to be. Let him have the limelight! It's just putty!
Also check out: Crazy Aaron's crazy Hypercolor activity suggestion
And now here's your chance to win your very own ! How cool is this??? Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
|Can you guess what pushed this putty? There are seven different things (toys+games)|
Celebrate Occupational Therapy Week!
Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty is offering a discount code this week (OT2013) to say thanks to all the OTs who work so hard helping our kids. Just go to www.PuttyWorld.com and shop away! Ends 4/26 (The code became effective yesterday so get the ones you want soon before they run out... I'm sorry I couldn't post this yesterday!)
By the way, this was on Susan's shopping list:
-glow in the dark
-one more Hypercolor
Want to buy on Amazon right now? Use my link to support Toys are Tools.
About Occupational Therapy
American Occupational Therapy Association
My treasured interview with SPD superstar Dr. Lucy Miller
How to Ensure Great Sensory Therapy for Your Child
The F-Word Can Help Our Kids' SPD
Awesome sites on all things sensory!
Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation
SPD Blogger Network
Raising a Sensory Smart Child
Out of Sync Child
Disclosure: Toys are Tools was not compensated by the manufacturer for the publication of this review. The items were provided to Toys are Tools to facilitate a review. Some items were purchased by Toys are Tools as well. Reviews are never promised. The giveaway prize is being donated by the manufacturer.