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Squishy summer craze

July 11 - 17, 2018

Gulf Weekly Stan Szecowka
By Stan Szecowka

Gulf Weekly Squishy summer craze

THE squishy is the latest classroom craze which is set to continue on the home front throughout the summer holidays … they are like a kiddie stress ball, a cool fidget toy and bag accessory squeezed into one.

It wasn’t long ago that GulfWeekly was reporting how fidget spinners were literally everywhere, which means they are now ‘so yesterday’. Scented squishies, however, are growing in popularity because they’re ‘things that look like other things’ but are also really amazingly, satisfyingly squishy.

They are being bought by the sack load from stores and online and some enterprising youngsters are making their own. In Bahrain, kind-hearted children have been creating them to support good causes.

For example, six schoolgirls raised funds for The Dogfather Animal Sanctuary in Saar. The Squishy Squad, made up of Talia Zain, Ella Kimber, Hannah Janahi, Shehrezad Shaheen, Sophie Nestor and Yazi Kazerooni, all aged nine, produced their own squishies using recycled materials and made bath bombs and fairy cakes too to sell at St Christopher’s School during break-time.

Hannah said: “We thought of the idea of having a squishy sale as they are the best toys of 2018, everyone loves them. They are so much fun and even better when they’re homemade, especially when we recycle stuff to make them.”

Sophie said squishies are fun to collect, adding: “They are very stress relieving and satisfying and you can get them in various shapes and sizes.”

Shehrezad reckons they are a useful homework tool too, adding: “They are fun to make, satisfying to squish and help you concentrate.”

The girls collectively explained: “You start by colouring or printing pictures of your favourite characters to use as the front of the squishy, then cut another piece of paper the same size for the back and tape them together, leaving a space at the top to fill with plastic bags or memory foam. 

“Once filled, the whole thing is covered in clear cello tape or sticky back plastic. You can make a really simple squishy by filling a clean crisp packet with memory foam and sealing it shut with hot glue!”

The Squishy Squad’s charitable endeavours raised an impressive BD176 for the late Tony Waters’ animal sanctuary and the girls presented the funds to his daughter, Sarah, who is helping to keep it running with volunteers and rehoming abandoned and rescued pets.

“The girls presented the funds at the centre last weekend and were shown around and introduced to the animals by Sarah,” said mum Kirsti Shaheen. “They loved it and haven’t stopped talking about what a happy, sunny and caring place it is for animals. They are already planning their next venture!

“Their squishies proved very popular. Along with slime, it’s the latest fad – kids buy the foam squishies or make their own.”

The latest toy craze featuring small soft foam toys originated in Japan. Product reviewer Rose DesRochers said: “I couldn’t get over how much the Slow Rise Squishy Panini looks and smells just like real Panini baked fresh from the oven. With a soft and super slow rising effect, your child can pretend that the dough is rising, as they proceed to bake up some fresh bread in their play oven.

“The Slow Rise Squishy Frosted Donut Charm looks as delicious as a real doughnut! The charm comes with an elastic strap, so kids can attach it to their school bag or anywhere they like! Add in the sweet scent and you have a multiple sensory toy that can be quite irresistible and perfect for pretend play.”

The squishies phenomenon has become a global online video sensation with nearly 400,000 ‘squishies’ videos featuring the many varieties of collectibles, with fans of all ages declaring their love and obsession with these irresistible toys. On YouTube, children, and even adults, trade squishies, and show off their collections.

According to squishy connoisseurs, the slower they rise, the better. After cuteness, that’s what people pay most attention to.

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