Colemoi Product Review by Andi Turner
12th September 2017
My first impression of Colemoi products? Wow. The quality is just superb. Let me tell you what we got to play with.
At first, I thought this was purely a 2 adult to 6 children wrist strap to prevent children from straying into danger when out on walks with practitioners. And it does do that very effectively and without cutting off the blood circulation to children’s hands. The straps are stitched together very securely and the Velcro is extremely strong. But it doesn’t just do that. No, it doesn’t. The Walkliner comes with an instruction guide demonstrating how it can be used for gross motor skill activities. For example, by moving the children’s blue wrist straps down to the ankles, children can learn to synchronise and keep in step with one another ‘convict style’. Yes really. Sounds grim I know but it’s actually quite fun. It’s not really suitable for very young children but the school aged children loved it. Children need plenty of space as they may well stumble and adult supervision is recommended at all times. It could also be pretty useful for inset training days as a team-building exercise for larger group settings. Siamese mode is a bit like the 3 legged race and it’s the same principle: working together and coordination. It does take practice but it’s incredible how quickly children learn to adapt so that they work in harmony.
I’ve never felt a material quite like this before. It doesn’t feel like plastic and it doesn’t feel like foam. The bars are smooth and bendy and strong with a soft matt finish and they remain in any position you bend them into. They are so pliable that they can be wrapped around little fingers, wrists and ears (by way of explanation we were having our very own music festival on the day they arrived and they were perfect for making bespoke festival jewellery). Kinks and creases straighten right back out and they look perfect again. And I have tried and tried to pull the ends off and they are stuck fast. I don’t know what it’ll take to get them off but I’m satisfied they’re suitable for children over the age of 3 to play with under adult supervision. Attaching the bars requires good hand and eye coordination, concentration and perseverance making these a brilliant resource for nurturing the characteristics of effective learning. The basic kit comes with sufficient pieces for at least 2 children to share. Children can follow the instructions on the laminated cards on particular models they can build or they can use their own imaginations. These are perfect for use outdoors which is where we spend the majority of our day, whatever the weather. Some children took pieces away to incorporate into a clay model they were working on. Naturally, they got a bit messy but they came up lovely and clean in warm, soapy water ready for next time. Overall, the Tornikotor rods and wheels are like Meccano but for little kids and they’ll be found, every day, in my ever-expanding loose parts collection and we love them!
I’m in love with this product! The fabric is good quality, it’s beautifully stitched and clearly made to last. I gave every seam and button and strap a really good yank like a frustrated toddler and not a single stitch came apart. And the concept is just so clever but ever so simple. Every kind of fastener children have to learn to do to dress independently is on there. The neck fastener is secured with Velcro so that if it gets caught around something it will detach from the apron and the child wearing it won’t get choked. I fastened it around Lacey, aged 3, and immediately she began opening the first layer which is a jacket front with a chunky zip. She opened it independently but struggled to zip it back up. Not to worry. Olivia, aged 4, came to the rescue and started her off. Such teamwork! The next layer is a cute little waistcoat with press studs. The studs are neither too small nor too large, nor too stiff or too slack, making this task tricky but achievable with persistence. The next layer is a shirt. The buttons are the size we should be able to expect on children’s clothing to promote independence. The button holes are reinforced with felt so children can get a better grip. Why don’t children’s clothing manufacturers make children’s garments like this? Then, beneath it all is a pair of shorts with the usual button and metal fastener and a little pocket to pop things into. The whole thing from beginning to end is deeply engaging and totally adorable. I only wish I had more of them!
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