TOS Review: Buckets-O-Fun
If your family, church group or homeschool group likes messy, slimy fun, then I have just the product for you!
As a member of the TOS Review Crew, I received a sample pack of Yuck from Buckets-O-Fun. The sample pack contained samples of Chunky Yuck, Saucy Yuck, Snowy Yuck and their newest Yuck product, Sticky Yuck.
What is Yuck? Turtlegirl defines Yuck this way: “Yuck is a slimy, messy substance that can sometimes be fun to play with.” When pressed to define Yuck, Tailorbear contributed: “Yuck is a substance that can be played with but sometimes is just plain ole gross.”
Yuck is a polymer which means it is a “large molecule formed by repeated patterns of chemical units strung together.” (from the Yuck Science with Buckets-O-Fun handout included with our samples).
Chunky Yuck: This is the first Yuck that we tried. When fully hydrated, it resembles ice machine ice cubes. The texture reminded me of finger Jello. Buckets-O-Fun included a hand-out with some science related activities to try with our Yuck. We took it a step further and used our microscope. We started by looking at the dry Chunky Yuck under the microscope. We did observations of the color, texture and smell. We measured the quantity and then began to hydrate the tiny rock salt size pieces. We wanted to do some science experiments such as comparing how well a seed would sprout using Yuck as a water source versus a wet paper towel, but I just was not organized enough to pull it off.
When we were finished with all of our scientific style observations, I let the girls “have at it”. Only Tailorbear was really interested in playing with it. She took it outside and created a search and rescue game with her doll house people and some dollhouse furniture. She buried people and furniture in the Chunky Yuck. Other dollhouse figures had to “dive in and save them.”
Because it is the consistency of jello, it does break apart easily when stirred or handled. When Tailborbear finished her search and rescue game, the nice large chunks of Yuck resembled a bowl of jello peas. Though the literature that came with the sample stated that you could use it again, in my opinion it really is a one use type of product.
Saucy Yuck: A few days later we tried Saucy Yuck. Saucy Yuck has the consistency of applesauce. None of the girls, nor I, cared for this one. Perhaps it was because we are girls or we don’t like really messy things but this one didn’t even appeal to TailorBear who isn’t usually bothered by texture issues nor does she have sensory issues. Turtlegirl, however, does have sensory issues and strongly dislikes this type of texture. Supergirl ran away from us and BooBear didn’t want to be bothered. I can see this product being used with an OT to work on texture issues but for playing purposes I do not recommend this variation of Yuck for anyone who struggles with textures and sensory issues.
Snowy Yuck and Sticky Yuck: After waiting a week or so, we decided to do both Snowy Yuck and Sticky Yuck at the same time. We wanted to compare the two types of Yuck. Once again we got out the microscope and examined each one. We did the same observations as we did for Chunky and Saucy. After examining both Snowy and Sticky, I had the girls predict which one would absorb water faster and be ready first. Supergirl stuck around and even dragged a chair over so she could be part of the action. BooBear manned the microscope and then allowed us all to have a peak.
At first we thought we had ruined the Sticky Yuck by adding too much water. Supergirl was content to just keep stirring so we let her stir to her heart’s content while we focused on the Snowy Yuck. The Science Activities brochure contained two additional suggestions for Snowy Yuck and we tried them both. We all loved the Snowy Yuck. It was a fun texture to play with and all of us enjoyed squeezing it through our fingers and making clumps. The girls all agreed that Snowy Yuck was the favorite of the four and would be the one Yuck product that we would consider purchasing.
At some point we noticed that the overly watery Sticky Yuck had transformed into a goopy slimy sticky gooey glop in the bucket. We all took turns playing with it using the spoon and all though each of us took a turn actually touching the stuff, none of us could be persuaded to actually put our hand in it. It was fun to stir it and to use the spoon to see how far it would stretch but other than that we were not interested in playing with it.
My Thoughts and Impressions: As a home school tool for learning about scientific observation and creating our own experiments, I find Yuck, especially Chunky and Snowy, to be very appealing. Though we did not have time or enough product to try our ideas here are two that we would have liked to do: 1) mix dry Yuck with different liquids to compare how well they hydrate 2) create different growing experiments with seeds to see which type of Yuck provides the best hydration for a baby plant.
More about Buckets-O-Fun and Yuck: Buckets-O-Fun also included a hand out listing some of the games and activities you can do with Yuck. Most of the games required more Yuck than we were given and were intended for large groups such as a birthday party, home school group event or perhaps a Church Youth Group event. Most of the ideas seemed appropriate for Chunky or Saucy with one specifically designed for Snowy.
Buckets-O-Fun states that their products appeal to all ages from 5 to 95. I don’t know that I would necessarily agree with them. I think it is appealing for those in the 20 something crowd and younger with the greatest appeal being for the junior high and younger crowd. But I am not the mother of boys and my view may be skewed because I only have girls and I have never been interested in being slimed.
Each Yuck product is available in 1lb, 5 lb and 50 lb packages ranging from $16 to $600 depending on size of package and type of Yuck. You can find information for ordering Yuck on this page.
“We have Yuck samples available but please only one per organization/individual. If you need more samples for a conference or other reason please contact us and we will be glad to help you out.”
Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received a sample pack of Yuck to review. This review is my honest opinion. I received no compensation.
Note: Photos and images in this Blog Entry are taken from the Buckets-O-Fun website to aid my review.