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Our Strawbees Inventor Kit arrived Mother’s Day weekend. The box was for my two children, but it turned out to be just as much of a gift for me as it was for them. At first glance I was a bit worried that my 4-year-old would not enjoy using them as they are recommended for ages 6-14. However, this was not the case.

I nominated myself to open the box as my children can sometimes open boxes like little mice. I carefully opened the box and began to pull out the bags of straws. As I was pulling them out, my 7-year-old son snuck a hand in and swiped the instruction manual on how to make various designs.

Before I could read them the directions, they were already building. So, I sat back on the couch and just watched. They carefully picked their pieces and began building with furrowed brows as they were deep in thought. I watched them use their creativity to put pieces together, decide it wasn’t quite how they wanted, and problem solve to get it just right. The instruction manual also has easy to follow directions if your child prefers to use a template to get started.

I say Strawbees were also a gift for me as my son and daughter worked quietly and cooperatively for over two hours. They didn’t make a model of a car engine (check out the amazing engine on the Strawbees Facebook page), but they made Harry Potter wands, Ferris wheels, star bursts, dinosaurs, and more. Some of their creations didn’t look like anything to my husband and I, but the kids had already crafted a story around their new inventions that they were so excited to tell us about and use for pretend play. The fun didn’t just last Mother’s Day weekend, every day since, at least one of my kids has gotten out the Strawbees to create away! They enjoy using them and I enjoy how engaged they keep them, how easy they are to clean up, and how Strawbees gives them the opportunity to use their imagination to create and problem solve.

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Tina Pratt is the mom of two littles. She is a former PreK- 5 special education teacher that now works as a behavior coach. She enjoys being a tourist in her own town and finding ways to embed lessons into everyday fun!

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