Thursday, April 7, 2011

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Giveaway & Review: Roylco Straws and Connectors Structure Pack [CLOSED]

One thing I have noticed about building toys lately is that some of them have gotten very complicated.  Is it all about specialty parts or about children using their imaginations?  Roylco's Straws and Connectors building sets allow children to use their imaginations to make larger creations using two simple items . . . flexible straws and 6-way plastic connectors.  With this toy, your child needs to think big, because it is difficult to build anything small with this toy.  We know . . .  we tried!

The Straws and Connectors Structure Pack is recommended for children ages 4 and up.  Although our 4 year old twins had difficulty at times pushing the straws completely onto the connectors, the concept of building with these pieces was something they could grasp.  It took them awhile to realize what they could actually build.  They started off with building 2-dimensional shapes.  With help from me and our 7 year old son, the twins started to be able to  think 3-dimensionally.

This particular 185 piece set includes 100 red straws, 84 blue connectors, 1 blue veil, and an instruction booklet for building a few basic structures.  The blue connectors needed to be separated before we could begin.

We started off small with some basic shapes.  Our 7 year old built a football and tried to fashion a hat that slightly resembled a crown.  It was interesting for all four of us to experiment with what these straws and connectors could and could not do.

It is important to push the straws all the way onto the connectors.  Failure to do so will result in a weak structure that could come apart.  Doing this does take some strength, so it would be smart for an adult or an older child to check each connection as a structure is being built.

For our first large endeavor, we followed the instruction manual for building an arch, which used almost all the parts in the kit plus the veil.  The step by step instructions were extremely easy to follow and very simple to explain to the children.

Here is the result of our efforts . . . 

All three children were very pleased with the results.  The structure stayed intact until we took it down a few hours later.  We definitely needed a larger Straws and Connectors set because this structure only houses one child comfortably, although two small children could squeeze in there at once.

To find more educational and developmental products, visit

Thank you to Roylco for providing a complimentary product sample for us to base this review upon and for providing a second product for our contest prize.  This article has been written as part of a campaign for the Family Review Network.

What you can win:
One lucky reader will receive a 185pc Straws and Connectors Structure Pack (ARV $29.99).

This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only. You do not need to be a blogger to enter, but you must have a valid email address and be age 18 years or older. If you enter anonymously and do not include a valid email address in your comment entries, I will not be able to notify you should you win this random drawing.

How to Gain Entries:
Browse the selection of learning and developmental products offered by Roylco. Then leave a comment telling me the name of one product you think would be both helpful and fun to a child (aside from the product reviewed in this article). You MUST do this to be eligible to win this contest.

Extra Entries:
1)  For 5 extra entries, leave a relevant comment on one of my non-giveaway posts. Then leave FIVE separate comments with the name of the post on which you commented. You will earn 5 extra entries for each different non-contest post you comment on.

2)  For 5 extra entries, enter one of my other contests. Leave FIVE separate comments here telling me which contest you entered. You will earn 5 extra entries for each contest you enter.

3)  For 10 extra entries, fill out the Roylco Survey. Then come back here and leave TEN separate comments telling me you did.

4)  For 1 extra entry each, if you are a Friend of mine on Facebook and/or if you have "liked" the 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires Facebook page, then leave a separate comment here telling me so with the link to your Facebook profile.

5)  For 1 extra entry each, follow Roylco on Twitter and/or "Like" Roylco on Facebook. Then leave a separate comment for each with the link to your Twitter or Facebook profile.

6)  Follow me on Twitter. Then leave a separate comment with the link to your Twitter profile.

7)  Tweet about this giveaway linking back to this post. Then come back here and leave the link to your tweet in a separate comment. You may do this once per day until the end of the contest.

8)  Subscribe to this blog's feed. Or you can follow me through Blogger or subscribe via email (widget is on sidebar). Then leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

9)  Subscribe to A Blog of Goodies' feed (the sister site to 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires). Then leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

(All entries will be verified prior to awarding this prize.)

Random Drawing:
This contest will be closed on Monday, April 18th, 2011 at 11:59pm EST. A random number drawing will be held shortly after. The winner will be announced here and will be contact via email or through their blog. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new number will be drawn.

Good luck in the drawing!