Review & Bonus Giveaway: Air Storm Z-Curve Bow and Zip Bak Bow: Aim for the “Write” Target

The Z-Curve is supposed to soar as far as 125 feet. For us, 50 feet is enough.. less walking to go fetch them. photo: Zing Toys


WHAT: 
 Air Storm Zip-Bak Bow &  Air Storm Z -Curve Bow by Zing Toys
DOES:  opportunity to practice bilateral coordinatrion and crossing the midline
INVEST:  $19.99 and $26.99 respectively MSRP
AGES: 8 and up (can possibly be lower with some guidance)
TOOLS:  My Body Needs to Move, Think Like a Scientist/Engineer, Social Scene Helper (sports played along among like-minded folks help ease social setting), Lose and Win Gracefully
EXPERT OPINION: Aimee Prainito,Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Prainito Pediatric Therapy
GIVEAWAY: See details below for the Z-X Crossbow Giveaway happening right now. (11/27/12 – 12/12/12)
In the B.C. era (Before Children), there were three toys I said that I would never buy: a toy gun, a toy sword, and a toy bow-and-arrow.   But like most parents, after our children are born, we issue retractions.  I definitely had purchased toy dart guns (in the name of pretend play) and light sabers in the past but still, I had not purchased a bow and arrow. I think that’s because guns and swords are easy.  Archery is not, you have to be a bit older.

Number 1 Son will soon be nine years old and finallly, after watching Brave in the theatre, I decided to test out a toy bow and arrow that caught my eye in a toy industry magazine (the kind where only quality toys are featured).  And that was a huge leap for me because my kid is very impulsive so inviting any sort of weaponry-type toy into our household means that it automatically has a probationary period.  Still I just knew I had to try it.  It looked promising.

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Well I’m happy to report that the Air Storm Z Curve Bow by Zing Toys not only promises, it delivers!  I absolutely love the Z Curve!  I love watching my son create targets to shoot and then focus at aiming to shoot them.  The foam on the arrows makes this whole set not only safe but also reminds them (and you) that it’s just a toy.  He doesn’t get upset if he doesn’t do well. I think there is potential for disappointment and giving up when something is so dependent on a child’s pre-existing skills.  But the design of the Air Storm Z Curve Bow with its special hook arrows and specially-created bow makes shooting easy.

This fall, I got lucky and had a chance to ask my fave occupational therapist, Aimee Prainito about her thoughts on the Zing Toys bows and arrows.

Immediate feedback is the best for our kids. It's very motivating!

 

“I loved it, the kids loved it, the therapists all loved it,” Aimee told me, as she described the first time she brought the Air Storm Zip-Bak Bow  and the Air Storm Z -Curve Bow to a pediatric clinic. “Three OTs (occupational therapist) and a PT (physical therapist) were fighting over it, grabbing it! ” said Aimee.   “Everybody wanted it.”

But why would an occupational therapist love a bow and arrow (aside from the fact that it’s super fun)?  “All of them were great because they all used bilateral integration skills, which is basically using two hands at midline.”

 

Learning to stabilize oneself is very important for reading and writing? I suppose that makes sense.


Goal: Improve Reading and Writing

WHAT?  She lost me at “bilateral integration.”  Whatever did she mean by that?

“It’s a precursor to reading and writing,” Aimee said matter-of-factly.

Again, WHAT?
“It has to do with reading and writing because you need to have a hand dominance,” Aimee does a great job in speaking real-people-talk.   “Then you need to stabilize with your non-dominant hand to do an activity.”   Aimee explained that if you can establish hand dominance then you can cross your midline.
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“Most of us when you’re writing correctly, we’re tilting the paper at midline,” Aimee tried to describe it further. “If you’re right-handed, you tilt the paper a little bit to the left then you put your left hand on top of the paper and then you start writing and you actually cross the midline when you’re writing,” she said.  “You need to be able to hold an object with your hand to stabilize it and then use your dominant hand for the fine motor part.”  And that is how we do lots of things she told me, like threading a needle.

Goal: Bodies that Pay Attention

Aimee, also mentioned that this type of exercise brought on by bow and arrow work encouraged better trunk control.  Aimee, had established in another article here how core trunk muscles are really important to students in a classroom.  “If you don’t have good trunk control, you can’t sit up and you can’t pay attention.”

Aimee felt that precision targeting could not be wholly achieved with this toy. She also said, "But, I have to tell you something. The kids really didn't care. They loved shooting it."

Wow, I wonder if I should make my guy do an hour of this everyday…. will he learn to sit up straight? Really straight? Forever?  Heck, I could use good core trunk muscles myself.  I’m all flab over there and am always sitting poorly.

Fun Way to Socialize

For me, the mom who knows nothing of midlines and core trunk stability, what I notice most is how my kids take turns watching each other shoot.  Whether or not, they are playing with each other or friends.  The kids would inevitably watch and wait for each other’s turns.  I love that.  It’s very much like skateboarding or singing in a karaoke bar.   We slowly prepare for our own turn but the waiting part is quite entertaining because a friend is performing.

To see this really happening, watch the video directly below the photo. This was taken with a member of the Olympic team for South Korea in a South Korean television show. Don't bother trying to understand what they are saying. Just watch the video directly below this photo

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Another thing that I like is that the Air Storm Zip-Bak Bow is smaller.  I know it suggests that kids play with this after they turn eight but my 5 -year-old really wanted to shoot an arrow so badly but the Z-Curve Bow was too big for him so that was a reason to get the Zip-Bak.    After he started getting better on the Zip-Bak Bow, he was more capable of moving onto the the Z-Curve Bow.
After talking to Aimee, I see these bows and arrows, not for the purpose of just practicing focus but also to support academic classroom skills!  Wow!  How cool is that?   While I’m sure the bows and arrows will not turn them into Shakespeare, I think this is all going to help somehow.  Seriously, though… if they can improve a few academic skills (even if it’s just a bit) by shooting targets with a bow and arrow.  Let’s just say….as long as they hit the target that I set up for them, I have no problem with the shooting of the bows and arrows in my home!
Did I say- Giveaway???  Oooh.  Right now, on my home site, I am giving away a cousin of the Z-Curve and Zip Bak Bows.  The Z-X Crossbow!  Check it out here.
Disclosure statement: The writer has not been compensated in any fashion by the manufacturer of any of the mentioned products for the publication of this post.  The product was given to the writer’s testers and to the expert to facilitate a review.  Reviews are never promised.  
Want to buy your bows and arrows now?  Try my Amazon link.  Remember that the Z Curve Bow MSRP is $26.99 and the Zip Bak Bow is $19.99.   The Air Hunterz and Zing Air labels from the same company should be essentially the same but the motif is different.  Air Hunterz is more appealing to older kids.   The blue and green color scheme of Zing Air should be okay for various ages.



Jenn Choi is a writer and mom to 2 children with special needs which include the roman letters A, D, H, N, O, P, and S in various combinations. They also possess superpowers like high-energy (really high), number and small detail memory, creative thinking, and an uncanny ability to drive a parent to the very edge of the universe and bring them back with one quick smile. Her writing about toys as tools for developing skills and feeding talents can be found at www.toysaretools.com

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attention/focus, Jenn Choi, learning styles and Adhd, occupational therapy, toys are tools ·

About the author

Jenn Choi is a writer and mom to 2 children with special needs which include the roman letters A, D, H, N, O, P, and S in various combinations. They also possess superpowers like high-energy (really high), number and small detail memory, creative thinking, and an uncanny ability to drive a parent to the very edge of the universe and bring them back with one quick smile. Her writing about toys as tools for developing skills and feeding talents can be found at www.toysaretools.com

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The "ADHD Mommas" are not medical or mental health professionals, nor an ADHD coach. Any opinions shared here are just that, opinions. I, and the other "ADHD Mommas," are sharing our experiences with our own ADHD children. Please do not re-post or publish any content or photos without a link back to {a mom's view of ADHD}. Have the courtesy to give credit where credit is due. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

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