As I set out the Bunchems box in a classroom, kids were begging to play with them. “My grandma has those at her house!” one little boy said excitedly. Three kids got right into constructing their characters for the story. The kids added bunchems to make the form of their character and then added eyes, legs, arms, a purse, sunglasses and a mustache. It was fun to overhear their chatter as they constructed their characters and they took on a personality. Then the story started, “When the evil queen cursed the caterpillar…” With this easy medium of squish, connect and create balls of several sizes, kids can quickly make their characters and props for a story, adding any of the 30 accessories to enhance the plot. It was fun to listen in on the story as the kids collaborated on how it went, and physically added on or changed their characters physically to go along with the story. What a fun way to practice the elements of a good story, a beginning, middle and end, some conflict and resolution. Who knew these bunchems could help get them ready for reading and writing. The best endorsement was when their teacher watched them, took a picture of the box and said, “That would make a great birthday present!”

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