Whenever I take my kids over to my parents’ house, they like to have some sort of new toy or game for their grandkids to play with. Eventually I think it will lead my kids to be spoiled, but for now it always gives the kids something to do while the adults have a bit of conversation. When my parents broke out the Crayola Glow Explosion Glow Stick Gear package, however, I started finding myself having as much fun with the set as the kids were.
First it should be noted that you shouldn’t open the set and start playing with the glow sticks unless you are ready to use them for an extended period of time. The Crayola set, unlike some others found online, isn’t reusable, so once you start popping the glow sticks and they start lighting up, they are only good for a limited amount of hours. Make sure your kids are going to be focused on the activity before you open the set up or you will be wasting your money.
For those who have never used glow sticks before, you basically just bend or snap them enough so that they light up in the center. While you have to be careful not to puncture them and let the liquid leak out, we found the sticks to be surprisingly strong, allowing the sticks to be twisted and bent in all kinds of assorted shapes and contortions.
The set consists of 40 glow sticks of three different colors and varying sizes, as well as 18 connectors of different shapes. The glow sticks come in three colors: yellow, green and red. The connectors come in two basic variations, a round one with multiple slots and a flat one with two prongs. Combined, you can make any assortment of bracelets, necklaces, headgear, etc, all that lights up for hours on end.
The box claims that the glow sticks work for a total of 4 hours, but that is the bare minimum of usage that you will get in my experience. The sticks will slowly start to fade, and some will stop working all together, but I had parts of some sticks that worked 24 hours later. I guess the warning is on the box for kids who start to complain when a couple of the sticks start to fade and want to give up all together, but my kids were still waving half-lit glow sticks around the next morning.
The best part of the fun that my kids and I had was the many options that the vary shapes and connectors provided. My youngest son made a spider, I made a flower with a stem and a pair of glasses, while my oldest son made an assortment of different objects. There were literally dozens of ideas we had before we began to tire with the sets hours later when the colors started to fade…and my kids still picked the set back up and played with it some more in the morning, faded as the lights might have been.
Overall, this is a fantastic set that can be picked up almost anywhere at a great deal. While it would be nice if Crayola made a set of just the glow sticks as refills once you already own the connectors, the set itself is so cheap that it makes sense to buy a whole new set each time you want to play with it again. I would definitely recommend picking this up if you kids are above age 3 (as there are smaller parts that can be a choking hazard).
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Amount Paid (US$): Gift
Type of Toy: Other