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Orbeez Banned At My Daughter's School

What NOT to bring to school this week...

I was quite a saleswoman when I was a kid.

Every week, when I’d go grocery shopping with my mother, I would beg and plead for a quarter to buy one of the quintessential kid-products of the ‘80’s…slime. 

Just one quarter and I’d be able to buy a plastic-encased gem of squishy, gushy gooey slime from the fortress of quarter-machines that lined the exit of the grocery store, as if demanding tithes from already haggard and spent parents. 

With rapidity, the precious goo would get out of its little plastic bubble and onto more unfortunate surfaces- my hair, for example, the pavement, for another.

The worst landing spot, of course, was the couch or carpet. 

Sorry Mom, I got goo there too.

I am remembering this silly phase of mine this week, because my daughter’s age group is now head-over-heels over their own goo-like marketing sensation: Orbeez.

Now, in case you haven’t heard (which I hadn’t until last week, so don’t worry!), Orbeez are, according to their website “…wet and wacky, soft and squishy, fun and funky, bouncy and beautiful. They start off hard and tiny. Add water and watch them grow to 100 times their volume.”

Sounds like a perfectly great time, doesn’t it?

Orbeez are like little balls of gel that when added to water, turn into even wetter and squishier balls of goo.

If interested, one can buy tons and tons of this product for an arm and a leg, and play faux-scientist with the non-toxic product by injecting it into little beakers.

Frankly, it looks like a huge rip-off and here’s why:  Goo is literally one of the easiest kid’s products to make.

It takes minimal time and with a little food coloring, you can out dazzle Orbeez any day of the week.

Take a look online and you can find dozens of simple recipes!

Now, either you love “goo” or you hate it, I understand.

It is a texture thing, perhaps, or perhaps it is a healthy fear for your carpets and furniture.

Wherever you stand on the goo-factor at home, it is clear that it belongs nowhere within a school building.

Unfortunately, that is where it has been ending up, and schools all around the Commonwealth.

I received the anti-Orbeez email alert from my daughter’s elementary school last week, stressing the incompatibility of “goo” and classroom management.

There is also, apparently, the risk of younger kids seeking to ingest the goo. Yuck!

I pause to wonder how kids are indeed smuggling Orbeez into schools? Do the parents know?  Could anyone think it is an appropriate pocket toy?

The rate of mishaps with goo-related products is high, as my own childhood experiences attest.

Parents, if your kids have Orbeez at home, keep ‘em there and save your principal from having to deliver an official ban.  It is MCAS season, and they really have plenty else on their hands!

Sharon Cohen March 30, 2011 at 04:11 PM
One thing you should know--if you crush Orbeez into your carpet, you can just vaccum it up. No stain no residue. And another thing--Orbeez are bouncy and beautiful--not to be compared to slime which IS messy, not bouncy and certainly not beautiful. And sometimes kids need to amke a bit of mess to have fun!

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