Disclosure: I was provided with YOXO building sets for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are mine.
Little do my kids know, but our humble little coat closet does double duty as a magic closet. It’s dark and small, so other than throwing mittens in there in the winter and goggles in the summer, the kids pay little attention to it. Along with our summer and winter needs, I use the closet to store toys and craft kits for those days. You know the ones … the fourth snow day in a row, the day the rain won’t stop, the day you have deadlines and littles that both need attention, the day they won’t stop touching each other, the day you just can’t think of anything you have the energy to do or go see. On those days, it’s reassuring to know that I can open the closet, pull something out, and change the entire vibe of the day. Where there was once this …
there’s now this …
I keep all kinds of stuff in there. I have a couple of add-ons to our trusty Snap Circuits that I bought when a local toy store was going out of business. I have a paper airplane kit. A science kit we used briefly at Christmas until the Xbox upstaged it. A Makey Makey that was a steal on Amazon one day. I stash our trusty Kiwi Crates in there before the kids have a chance to see them on mail day. When the mood demands it, I open the door and grab whatever catches my eye. Because they have no idea where it came from or how long we’ve had it, it’s like a new toy on Christmas day.
I was asked if we might be interested in trying out YOXO, and after browsing the website for a few minutes I knew YOXO would be the perfect addition to the closet of sanity-saving magic. YOXO is a sustainable, recyclable, eco-friendly toy made with makers and creators in mind. The construction kits come with directions to build one of four YOXO heroes, as well as instructions to build several other designs. The Y, O and X-shaped links (hence the name) connect in a myriad of ways, not only with each other, but with other common household materials, such as paper towel rolls and empty boxes. The possibilities are endless, limited only by a kids’ imagination.
I busted out the YOXO last weekend on a gloomy, rainy day. Eli dove right in, ignoring the instructions and building the first thing that came to mind. If you have boys, you can probably guess what it was. (Answer: a gun, quickly followed by a sword.) After playing with his eco-friendly weapons (hey, I’m just a pacifist looking for the bright spot here), he returned to start building a 3-foot-long dragonfly. Isn’t it super cool?
So here’s what I love about YOXO:
• The creativity. Each set has instructions for 4 designs, but the options beyond that are limitless. The website even offers free downloads to enhance the playing experience.
• The look. The pieces are bright and cheery. Sorry, but if I’m leaving a toy out in the open, I want it to look nice. These look great in a basket and will draw the kids right into making and creating.
• The durability. We’ve lost a few pieces to the dog – sadly recycled wood pulp is no match for puppy teeth. But that was completely our fault. When the YOXO links are in your kids’ hands, they’re surprisingly sturdy. I was worried we’d bend or break them during construction, but they hold up beautifully.
• The price point and availability. Good quality, creative building kits can break the bank. YOXO is a great deal for the quality and play factor. These would make great birthday gifts to stock up on as well. You can purchase them online through yoxo.com, but I was able to purchase mine at Target.
• The company philosophy. YOXO is committed to making sustainable, recyclable toys in the US that foster creativity and the maker spirit. Their St. Paul manufacturing facility is wind-powered and operates at nearly zero waste.
Just a fair parental heads up: Eli’s pretty skilled at building while following directions, but the YOXO instructions stumped him at times and he needed some assistance. Our kit is aimed for ages 5 and up, but just be prepared to supply some assistance if younger kids want to build something exactly to the given instructions.
They may be recyclable, but it looks like our YOXO will be hanging around for a long time. You can purchase YOXO on the company website, on Amazon, or at Target. Use the handy locator to find a store near you. As your kids build cool stuff, be sure to share their creations with the company using the hashtag #YOXOtoys.