This toy came across my doorstep the other day and I just stared at it. It, frankly, is not the prettiest thing to look at, but I knew the previous version of the Hog Wild Squeeze Popper toy. Now it is in plush form, and much cuddlier!
Now the Squeeze Popper animals are soft, plush, and huggable, as my 2 year old demonstrates, but it can also blast a foam ball up to 20 feet.
The harder you squeeze the tummy, the further the ball goes! (Luckily we knew of the toy and stayed clear of the flat screen television, and the glass windows.)
The new plush collection currently has eight creatures to collect. The Bear, Bunny, Panda, Penquin, Lion, Cow, Dog, and Hedgehog.
Each comes with six color-coded foam balls. Though, I wish the Squeeze Popper Huggables had a place to store the foam balls (maybe in the plush head or a little back pack for each animal?) as we lost one pretty quickly.
So, you may wonder; why this toy?
Squeeze Poppers Huggables
Like I mentioned earlier, I was familiar with the ball popper predecessor. ABA specialists and PT specialists for kids often use this toy to work on motor skills (the squeezing action) and cause and effect. Many toys have those functions for babies and toddlers, but for older children, who need a bit of help in certain areas, find this toy to be a tool to help learn processes that assist with everyday functions.
For example, the act (and art) of learning the pressure to squeeze the Popper Huggable. The softer the squeeze, the less force of the blast. The stronger the squeeze, the more powerful the ball blast. The act of squeezing is a learned skill set, and the strength of the squeeze another. Getting the instant gratification (the ball shooting in the air) is a bonus. Later, the same child can manipulate a tube of toothpaste and can understand the concept of gripping and squeezing to get the toothpaste out. Better to practice on the Popper Huggable than with a tube of toothpaste!
Our son’s specialist was enthralled with this new version, so we gave our complimentary review copy to her, to use with a variety of children!
While we had it, my four year old and two year old enjoyed playing with it right out of the box (which, by the way, was easy to get out of the box!) The product is rated for 4+, but as with most toys, use your discretion and supervise since both of my kids liked playing with it! It retails for $14.00 at specialty toy stores and on hogwildtoys.com.