Toy Blog - Toys, Parenting, and Kids

Why Making A Mess Is A Kid’s Job

“It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.”  Words have never been truer than when in relation to children and what they do – make a mess. 

As a parent, it is difficult for me NOT to get mad when the kids make a mess.  It isn’t the mess I dislike as much as it is the not-picking-up part.  Part of me would just as soon not have the messy toys in my house – no play dough or paint, no little cups and pots, no construction toys like Zoob, no scissors, markers or glue.  If they aren’t here, the kids can’t make a mess with them, right?

But, the fact is, kids WILL make a mess.  That’s what they do.  They explore their environment to its fullest, and they use creativity in ways we seem to forget as we grow older.  Children dive head-first into delightful things, such as packing peanuts and glitter.  It is fun; it is learning.

So, while I might not want to sweep up the shredded paper ONE MORE TIME or clean the marker up off the kitchen table – AGAIN, I know that my kids are learning to express themselves and discover more about the world around them with each exciting activity they do, no matter how messy it is.  And that is our job as caregivers – to expose children to as many different situations, stimuli, activities and experiences as possible in a safe (and hopefully fun) way.  Of course, the other side of that is to also teach our children to be responsible and clean up after themselves.  I’m still working on this one.

Someone remind me of this when my youngest manages to spill the fish food all over the carpet again tonight, okay?

Do You Zoob?

We’ve tried Magnetix, we have a bucket of K’nex. I’ve vacuumed up enough Legos to build the Eiffel Tower. And then we found Zoob.


Zoob construction toy

The name alone is fun to say – try it out yourself! Zoob is a construction toy set that is complex enough for older children yet safe enough for little ones. Each piece has multiple ways to connect to another. They are brightly colored durable plastic, and with them, a child can create pretty much whatever they set their mind to do! And, my favorite feature is how SAFE they are. With an older architect that has a younger brother with an oral fixation, I am much more comfortable with these on the floor than the magnetic toys (although they are still a choking hazard; please limit playtime to children three and older). In addition, with Zoob, there are no pieces to vacuum they are all big enough to see and pick up!The five basic pieces are about 2.5 to 3 inches in length. They work like a “ball and socket” joint with connectors on the ends as well as in the middle. You do have to learn the rules of connecting so as not to damage the pieces, but for the most part, you can do pretty much anything you want to them. Want to build a robot? Okay, go for it! How about a fire truck? Why not? Let’s build a dinosaur! Or a big ball! Or, how about a spaceship? The possibilities for creativity are limited only by your imagination.And that’s probably what I like best about Zoob…the creativity factor. There aren’t any specific pieces with the set: no “heads”, no blasters, no wheels. You create your own with the five basic pieces. The guide that comes with each set gives you some starting ground and a few projects to test out. After that it is completely up to the builder. It is a fascinating, open-ended, safe toy that any child would love to click together.

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