Emmy loves sitting down and crafting together, I honestly think she is happiest when we are sat in the kitchen making things together.
Recently we had the chance to try out a new product called Simbix and we are both hooked!
Simbrix are a modern take on the much loved Hama Bead, a genius mix between a puzzle piece, Lego and Hama Beads. We are huge Hama fans here and create using them all of the time, Emmy even has a homemade mobile in her bedroom to display her creations, there is however one HUGE flaw with Hama Beads – I need to iron them to fix the design together. Those of you who know me well will know I absolutely hate ironing, I just don’t do it and the only time the iron gets dusted off here is to iron these beads, to say it’s a pain and a faff is an understatement and then there are those times where you leave the fantastic creation to iron later when you’ve more time only to knock it over and ruin it – a #Mummyfail moment which sadly has happened more than once here.
Thankfully Simbrix are far more robust from the beginning of your creation with no peg board needed. They work by slotting together like a puzzle piece and you create a design by slotting the coloured shapes into place.
Simbrix was invented in Nottingham, United Kingdom, by a father who saw his children playing with their favourite fusion beads. He noticed that the slightest knock or nudge of the pegboard would cause the beads to scatter and artwork to be lost – sometimes after hours of work. Seeing his children’s frustration and tears, the increasingly anxious father made it his mission to provide his children with a new way to play.
The Simbrix come in a cloth bag to keep them all together and contains around 850 beads as well as instructions and guide sheets to get you started. As Emmy is only 6 we decided to start off copying the design sheets to create her first pieces, of course Harry (3) also wanted to have a try too.
We decided to tip them into a bowl to start with to make it easier to find the colours:
We then looked at the design we were making and started to get out a few of the colours we would need to begin to save hunting around the bowl every time, Harry was great at colour matching and making piled of the same colour.
We found it was easiest to do one row at a time instead of trying to race ahead and do all of the same colour, as these are puzzle shaped they need to fix together a certain way – on a few occasions Emmy and Harry struggled to match the shapes up as the had added a few to one side and then the other planning to meet in the middle of the pattern – this didn’t work as the pieces were the wrong way around so caused a lot of frustration and tears when we needed to start over yet again.
Infact, this is what happened after the third time.
Emmy on the other hand loved it, she found it easy to follow the pattern and needed very little help from me, although we did need to remove a few pieces from this picture below (top section of the right picture) as the pieces were the wrong way around.
It took us a while to finish our designs, each of these took around 45 minutes for Emmy to do alone, so we did have a stop/start going on where she did some and came back to it later.
I really like these as they are more robust than the beads we usually play with and I find myself clearing them up off of the floor a lot less, due to the shape they don’t roll away so they are definitely less messy. They are also reusable – if you are bored with a design you can just break it apart. I found out the hard way it isn’t advisable to give them to a younger child to have on display in their room however when Harry broke his Minion to pieces in his bedroom – but the good news is, should you want to (which of course I really don’t) you can iron them to fix the design permanently.
Simbrix are available from Amazon
Disclaimer: We received a set of these in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.