Arrazzles: an Under the Sea Building Toy
BY MARYANN ALDERFER · MAY 31, 2016
I have two boys who are ages seven and nine, and to say that we have had a lot of different types of building toys in our house in the last five years would be an understatement. When Funnybone Toys offered to send us a set of Arrazzles: under the sea building cards I was a little skeptical about how much building my kids would be able to do with something that came in a 5×5 inch box, but I ended up being really impressed!
I opened the colorful box after the kids were in bed, and decided to do a little building of my own to see how the cards worked. The Arrazzles all have the same shape, but there are five different patterns of slots, so sometimes I had to try more than one card to fit the spot I was trying to fill. After I got the structure started I left it on the table along with some extra cards to see what the boys would do with it. It was funny! The next morning I was laying in bed (because I’m lazy lucky like that), and I could hear them talking about it. “Wow what’s that?! It’s so cool!” “Is it a game? Let’s put more on!” “Wait, we should ask Mommy first!” (one guess on whether that last comment came from the rule-following older child or the adventurous younger child…) Needless to say there were very interested in it!
I love that his tongue is sticking out because he’s so focused!
It was interesting to watch my seven-year old start a new structure from scratch. He thought about what kind of base he wanted his building to have. It was important to him that it used all the cards, but he also needed to keep it balanced so it didn’t tip over. There was definitely some trial and error involved but he had fun figuring out how to put the cards together, and when he had finally used them all and his brother came into the room he announced, “Look I used all the cards and I figured out how to connect this top part all the way down to the bottom!
After he was done building I suggested that we play a seek and find game. Each ocean themed card has a drawing of a creature and its name on one side, and a shadow of the creature on the other side. On the box it shows pictures of the animal shapes and names. My son and I took turns naming an animal and then finding its card in the big structure he had made. It was fun and challenging! Then while I was making lunch the boys pretended that their fingers were little ocean explorers and they “walked” them all over the cards “discovering” new things.
I was impressed by the versatility of a building toy that came in such a small package, and I appreciated that it inspired both critical thinking and creative play. Arrazzles may even make it on the very short list of toys I will bring on our family vacation this summer! Thanks for letting us try it out, Funnybone Toys!