Review: Toobers and Zots

Submitted by: Jan Johnson, elementary art teacher from Fairfax County Public Schools.

Product Title: Toobers & Zots

Grade Levels: Kindergarten & up

Product Review: Intended as creative building tools for open ended play, Toobers & Zots are made out of the same material as swimming pool “noodles.” The large tube pieces, called toobers, are of varying lengths from a couple of feet to over a yard.  Toobers have wire inside which allows them to maintain whatever shape they are twisted into. They can be curled, bent, folded, and zigzagged into three dimensional forms. The other pieces, called skinnies and zots, can be attached to the toobers and other skinnies and zots. They add a decorative element to the work. There are over a hundred dots, short tubes, star bursts, circles, crowns, and other shapes. Watch the video of my Kindergartners using this product below.

Can’t see YouTube video above? click here.

This medium allows my students to work in a scale that is larger than they normally get to experience. Because of the abundance of material in each kit, several students can easily work cooperatively on one sculpture. I would suggest that you allow 1-3 students per box. Although my students do not get to keep their work when they are done, I take a photo of each student with their work and print a copy of it for them.

The forms come in a small box in which they fit tightly. Once they are put to use, it is near impossible to get them back in their cardboard box. I put each set in a plastic box about the size of two shoe boxes. The long tube pieces I keep separately in a large plastic bin. Storage is an issue for these currently, as I have limited storage space in my classroom.

The person in my county who introduced us to Toobers & Zot said that they are durable. She had been using her sets for over eight years.

When I priced them online, they seemed to be expensive. Amazon is selling them for around $24 a set. I did see several other sites offering them and the price was comparable. There were sets on eBay, new and used, for considerably less. Our county ordered so many thousands of sets of these, they were able to work out a much better deal with the company.

Though these were purchased for a specific lesson in my kindergarten curriculum, my older students have begged me to let them try them out as well. The kindergarteners thoroughly enjoyed using them and were slow to put them away.

Bucket Rating (5 out of 5 – Love! Need it! Gotta have it now!):

(5) Love it! Need it! Gotta have it now!

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