Simple, specially-designed for skill-building and sensory-friendly. We just love this new-to-us find!
During the time our computer was down, we received a Grasshopper Preschool Prep Kit: Getting Our Hands Ready Kit for review at Sensational Homeschooling. We've been having so much fun with it that I wanted to review it here, too.
When the kit came in, the kids dove right into it and have been enjoying semi-structured learning and play with it since. Truly, we find the kit simple, yet awesome. Why?
It contains stretchy dough (different from both the store-bought and homemade playdough we have used before), dough stamps, a dough roller, a Mr. Crunch head, a mini set of bug figures, a full set of mini-crayons, two sheets of re-usable stickers, a sticker board and coloring sheets. It also contains an illustrated guidebook that can stand up so the kids can follow along with the step-by-step illustrations for each of the activities, while I browse the easy-to-read formatted text that helps remind me why certain activities are good for age-appropriate skill building and how to adapt the activities to make them easier or more challenging.
Also, it meets some basic criteria for any activity that becomes a hit on our household:
- It provides multi-age challenge and fun. Yep, the Grasshopper Kit is challenging enough for our now-five year-old Luke to enjoy while being easy enough for our still three-and-a-half year-old Nina to use right alongside him.
- It causes less arguments than it does enjoyment. Indeed, the Grasshopper Kit has enough components to offer a variety of choices in one self-contained, low-to-no-mess “set”, meaning lots of focused play with little reason to fight over things.
- It can be open-ended as well as independent. The Grasshopper kit involves creation and coloring – key features in Luke and Nina’s enjoyment-quotient book. And, the tasks can be done step-by-step as directed or used in more self-initiated ways.
- It is sensory-friendly and age-appropriate. The activities in the kit inherently provide fine motor practice and tactile input – which are so important at Luke and Nina’s stages of development. Plus, it is low-tech. (I do love toys and activities without batteries, voices, flashing lights, bells and whistles, especially at this time of year when the opposite seem to lurk everywhere you go!)Plus, there are stickers involved. And re-usable ones at that. Oh, how the kids love stickers!
So, it is that we have been thoroughly enjoying our Grasshopper Kit during post-dinner wind-down time, long, cold afternoons and other times by request. It’s living up to the promises made on the Grasshopper Kit site by providing hours of fun without a worksheet in sight! Plus, I think Grasshopper Kits are very Montessori and workbox-friendly and great for folks who like hands-on activities to “get kids ready for school all through play: no workbooks... no pencils... 100% fun.” In my book, that makes them Reggio-friendly and Charlotte Mason-friendly as well -- open-ended enough to ignite some emergent curriculum, hands-on enough to be handiwork friendly.
Yep, we give this product two thumbs up - or, perhaps more accurately, whole hands in!
I know we will be putting the ABC & Following Directions and Snip, Glue and Grow Kits on our wish list while continuing to enjoy the Getting Our Hands Ready one.
Thank you so much to Grasshopper Preschool Prep Kits' Rachel Rudman, the talented Occupational Therapist with a specialty in Pediatrics who created the kits, for sending us one of your awesome products for review. We had so much fun with it and will continue to build skills and enjoy learning through play for quite a while with it. We think others will love it, too and encourage them to check out your Grasshopper Kits facebook page for news about the product, occasional giveaways and your many great tips.