Friday, October 29, 2010

Buckets O Fun - A Review

Product: Yuck

Chunky - $16.00 / 1 lb
Saucy - $18.00 / 1 lb
Snowy - $20.00 / 1 lb
Sticky - $20.00 / 1 lb

Company: Buckets-O-Fun

To Purchase: Yuck

Age Range: Elementary Age and Up

Other Products Available:
Products for outdoor fun, especially for large groups

Brief Introduction:
Yuck comes in 4 forms (Chunky, Sticky, Snowy, and Saucy). The product arrives in powder form. All you do is add the powder to water, stir, and watch what happens.

For some demonstrations, check out these YouTube Videos.

In-Depth Look:

When I learned the name of the company is Buckets-O-Fun, I felt pretty sure our review product would be something that my girls would enjoy. When the package arrived, we eagerly opened it to see what we got. The company had mailed us 4 samples of their yuck products. Also, they included a list of game ideas and an observation sheet for the experiments. Pretty neat, huh?

I carefully read over all of the instructions. According to the info sheet, the yuck will absorb water and expand. For this reason, it is very important that you don't ingest it and also that you don't put it down any drains (sink, dishwasher, washing machine). Well, this did make me a little nervous. Not that I thought my children would eat it. They are 11 and 8. (Our almost 2 year old was hanging out with Daddy.) My concern was how we were going to clean up ourselves and our kitchen and our utensils, if we couldn't use the sink or dishwasher to do so. And yikes, what if this slimy mess spills on my daughters' clothes and I can't run it through the dishwasher?

So anyways, yes, I began the experiments with a tad bit of trepidation. I began by moving everything off the counter that was of value. :) Then I stressed the "all-important Rule #1 -No washing it down the drain" and the "other all-important Rule #2 - No eating it" As the directions explained - "It absorbs water; need we say more?!".

We started with the Snowy Yuck. The powder resembles sugar. But almost immediately after stirring it into water, it looked so much like snow. It was pretty cool. One of the game suggestions is to use cookie cutters with the snowy yuck. I wanted to give this a try; it sounded like a neat idea. But our sample size was way too small for that sort of thing. We played around with some of the experiment ideas: trying to make a snowball, adding salt, and freezing it. I won't tell you what we discovered; I will let you try it for yourself.

Next we made the saucy yuck. It looks like powder until you put it into water. Stir and also immediately, you have a saucy mess. It is quite an interesting feeling!

Up next, the slimy yuck. I really didn't want to try this one. But I kind of had to, since it was sent as part of the review. Ha-ha. And since my daughters have made their own "slimes" in the past, I knew how much they would probably enjoy it. So, I took the plunge. And they aren't kidding! This stuff is sticky! It was fun to play with. My girls stretched it between their hands and in and out of the bowl. They even managed to blow bubbles with it in their hands. Pretty cool! Cleanup, however, was not cool. It is very sticky and you can't wash your hands in the sink. The directions tell you ahead of time that cleaning your hands is going to require a lot of patience. And they aren't kidding.

Lastly, we made the chunky yuck. This one isn't instant. It is a process of adding water, letting it absorb, and then adding more water as needed over a 24 hour period. This one was my favorite. It looked like ice cubes. Felt like jello cubes. Didn't stick to your hands and was easy to clean up.

The verdict: My kids had fun making it and playing with it. The kit includes neat game and observation ideas. They didn't enjoy clean up. It was a long and tedious affair to get it all wiped up and scooped off and thrown away. We used a lot of napkins and paper towels!

Suggestion #1: I highly suggest that you use disposable items. This is what we did. We used Styrofoam bowls, plastic spoons and paper towels. So everything went straight into the trash as we finished with it. This was a HUGE help! I can't imagine how we would have cleaned up the bowls and spoons well enough to feel confident putting them into the dishwasher after.

Suggestion #2: Do these experiments outside! Seriously, I can't stress this enough. Had we been able to do these experiments outside in warm weather with a water hose nearby, it would have greatly simplified matters. We could have simply hosed everyone and everything off once we were finished and been done with it. Much better. Word of warning though. The directions do warn that you don't want to just dump it into an area where people will walk because it is slippery. It does decompose; so, dumping it into a garden would be a good idea. Otherwise, hose it off into an "out-of-the-way" area. Simple, easy, done.

Some cool ideas:
We only had sample sizes so we weren't able to do these neat things. And the weather wasn't warm enough either. But there were some super-cool ideas that we would have loved to try. Put the yuck on a slip-n-slide and slide away. Fill a wading pool and splash around. Fill buckets with yuck and hidden treasures and start digging away. Doesn't that sound like so much fun? Great ideas for a summer get-together or birthday party.

To see other reviews, click here.

Disclaimer: I received Yuck samples free of charge, as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

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