Product Testing: Playfoam® Shape & Learn Alphabet Set
Name: Jo from Pickle & Poppet
Age of children: Reuben is 3 and Jessica is a baby
“Jo is a Parenting & Lifestyle blogger and enjoys writing about family life. This can be anything from toddler tantrums, children’s activities and days out to reviewing books and everything in between.”
What were your first thoughts when the product arrived?
I loved the pictures on the cards as they seem more relevant to young children, for example A for astronaut is much more enjoyable to talk about than A for apple. I wasn’t sure if the arrows were necessary but Reuben noticed them and used them as a guide.
I was worried about how sticky the foam was and that it was going to be found stuck all over my carpets but that wasn’t the case. It really didn’t stick to much at all, the only thing I managed to get it to stick to was my wall and door but even then it didn’t mark it.
How did you use the product?
When we got the Playfoam out of the box we spent quite a while just pulling it and moulding it into shapes.
“It is quite odd at first; I described it as feeling like melted marshmallow.”
The first thing Reuben did was mix some of the colours (to my horror) but because they are foam beads they do not mix so the colours won’t turn to brown!
We then spent time moulding the foam into the letters. Reuben found it enjoyable and we would talk about the letter and the picture. Reuben enjoyed talking about the pictures.
What are the educational benefits of the resource?
There are so many educational benefits to this product.
Firstly there are the letter recognition skills that you can work on. This is aided by moulding the shape of the letter but also by the picture on the card which will start with the letter on the card. You can discuss the letter and the sounds.
Because the foam is mouldable it is perfect for developing fine motor skills which they will need for writing etc.
You can also go completely off ‘topic’ and not use it with the letters at all and use it as a creative activity. Reuben has made balls and worms and really enjoyed making different shapes.
What did you like/dislike about the resource?
I haven’t found anything that I dislike about it at all.
What is the long term appeal of the resource?
I do think that this will lose some appeal, but it is a perfect rainy day activity that has lots of possibilities – as long as the stickiness holds out.
Is the product unique?
There are other products that are capable of similar play. That said, the uniqueness comes from the fact that it does not stick to materials (such as your carpet) and that when the colours are mixed they do not blend into one colour.
Would you recommend this product to a friend?
Yes I would for sure! (In fact, I already have)