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.
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.”
Fun Way to Socialize