There comes a moment in a parent’s life when trips to the toy store and browsing the toy aisles slips away. Your children have suddenly moved beyond dolls and blocks and are more interested in electronics and clothes. It’s a sad moment when you realize that your little ones have grown up on you – seemingly overnight.
Capturing Childhood with the GloWubble
But then a funny thing happens…a toy comes along that suddenly has them begging you to go to the toy store. A toy that is basic in concept, but delightful in design suddenly tears their eyes from the screens and engages them in childhood fun. For us, it was the GloWubble that we were given to review. We had already reviewed that WubbleX and they loved it, so when the GloWubble came along, I was fairly certain that they’d enjoy it. And enjoy it they did (and still do!)!
Unlike the WubbleX, the GloWubble is much larger (think 3 feet compared to 18″), and it’s filled with air versus the helium that’s in the smaller ball. You might think that this would be a potential downside, but in actuality, the kids loved the larger size, the fact that it didn’t float up to the ceiling, that they could play with it outside, and that it seemed tougher, more durable than the smaller, helium-filled version. They also thought it was great that the instructions indicated that a 40/60 helium/air mix could be used to make it float if we wanted to try that. Since we didn’t have an extra helium canister on hand, we stuck with filling it up with air using the included air pump.
In the package, there was the GloWubble shell, a battery-operated air pump (make sure you have 4 D batteries on hand!), the inflator nozzle, and a package of petroleum jelly to lubricate the nozzle so that the ball doesn’t pop when you insert it. I was surprised that it came with an air pump, as I envisioned having to blow it up like a balloon. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.
Once we got it inflated, the kids immediately began calling out that it was their turn first. I think the 14 year old was the loudest, because he was psyched to play with it. It was the first time his iPod left his hand all day, so I was happy to let him give it a shot. Between playing monkey in the middle and tossing it
at to his 8 year old sister, he and the 12 year old were laughing and smiling with pure, genuine joy. Any toy that can bring out that reaction in my kids is an amazing one in my book.
After an afternoon of playing, we set it up in the sunshine on the front porch and anxiously waited until sunset to see if it would glow. Sure enough, after bringing it to a darkened bedroom, we saw the GloWubble in all of its glowing glory. So cool!
Want to guess what the first thing they went for the next day was? Not their devices, not the computers, not the television…it was the GloWubble. Thinking about it makes me teary-eyed, because this is what childhood should be about. This pure, spontaneous, delighted response in something as simple as a ball was magical. For us, it’s more than just a giant, inflatable ball…it’s a chance to embrace the simplicity that we’ve somehow lost.
I tried for 45 minutes to get a perfectly poised review shot, after all, a review should have a magazine ready shot, right? But try as I might, the photos were laughter filled, smile laden, and somehow captured the joy in my children’s eyes. Posed pictures are great, but candids that truly show how much fun they had playing are probably the best proof of all.
So, if you’re debating whether or not to get one, do it. But be prepared to laugh, smile, referee a few monkey in the middle games, and genuinely have a good time. Getting back a piece of uncomplicated childhood? That’s priceless.