Today I am writing about a toy we received a few weeks ago. Bunchems and Bunchems Alive have been played with daily since we opened them.
At our new house we have a play room upstairs but I always like to keep some games and activities in a drawer near our kitchen table. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen so anything in that drawer has to be one we can use over and over. I rotate them to keep interesting but past favorites have been Yahtzee, play dough, a marker station, and a plain old deck of cards.
When I found out I was going to have the chance to work with Bunchems on this post, I thought- oh these might make the perfect addition to the kitchen activities drawer!
Our Bunchems arrived in the mail a couple weeks ago and the kids were ecstatic when they saw the boxes. The pictures look super inviting- everything is very colorful and fun….but first thing first!
Lalymom House Rules for Bunchems
In our family, we have several toys and games which have house rules. Play dough, for example, is always used at the table and never put on clothes or hair. Stickers and markers are mainly for table use and on paper. That kind of thing.
So before we opened our Bunchems we had a quick talk about the rules for our new toys:
1. This will be a toy we play with only at the table. (Similar to play dough, it could gather hair and fuzzies on the floor. Keeping it on the table has worked well to keep them clean.)
2. Never put bunchems in or near anyone's hair.
3. Girls always put their hair up first. (Bunchems has a safety video about how to remove them from hair, but it has truly never been an issue for us because the kids easily follow these rules.)
Once we all agreed to the rules, we opened the two boxes just as fast as we could!
It's Time to Get Bunching!
The sets come with a whooole bunch of colorful Bunchems, lots of body parts and the Bunchems Alive set comes with a ” wiggle ball” as my kids call it. The bunchems pieces are fun to build with because really you just bunch them together, as the name suggests. The body part accessories are connected directly to the bunchems pieces which means you can pop them in anywhere on your creation.
The sets also come with a page with a few build ideas and instructions to get you going. My daughter wanted to try one of these but when she saw her brother creating without the instructions she decided to just build her own thing.
The kids love squishing bunchems onto the wiggle ball, adding the eyes and a beak and turning the ball on. It's super silly the way it bounces around and makes the beak flap open!
If you're wondering what I think of them as a parent- I was really pleased with them. I like how it allows for creativity and all the fine motor work the pieces offer.
Most of all, as a mom, I liked how they brought my kids together.
Appealing to Different Play Styles
Bunchems is at the top of our play list now and it has really been interesting to see how it bridges the gap between my two kids' styles of play.
My 4 year old son loves to build. He loves LEGO, DUPLO, train tracks and every other type of building toy he has ever tried. He took to Bunchems right away.
My 6 year old daughter loves pretend play with stuffed animals or figurines. It took her a little bit to see the potential here. When my son added eyes and a mouth to his creation, her face lit up and she instantly wanted to build her own creature so they could play together.
In their play room, you *might* catch the two of them creating a scene together with LEGO or Lincoln Logs once in a while. But my son really focuses on building vehicles rather than a narrative. So they often end up doing their own thing. Him building, her making up stories with various characters.
With Bunchems they will sit together and build animals, monsters and other “guys” for an hour or two, giggling and playing. We frequently have to save their “guys” for the next day.
Bunchems appeals to my builder AND my fluffy stuffy lover! WIN!
I saw that Bunchems won 2016 Toy of the Year Award for Activities and I can totally see why after the past couple weeks of seeing them in action.
The other aspect that just seals the deal is that because they stick to themselves, it's an easy clean-up activity. My 4 year old can get them out, play with them, then bunch them up and put them away without any help. (Although one of us is usually playing along with him and praising him for cleaning up!)
Bunchems was a total hit at our house and I'm glad to have it in our kitchen table activities drawer!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.