Here’s a new product in the-kid-really-doesn’t-need-it category that moms might find themselves wanting to covet — Squishy Baff (suggested retail price $9.99). Those of us who regularly go for pretty foot maintenance will compare it to the powder nail salons use for a spa pedicure that turns water into a beaded, soft substance that soothes tired feet.
After evenly sprinkling a pouch of the “Step 1 Squishy Maker” into a tub of lukewarm water, you stir it until it turns colors and transforms into “goo.” My son, who has never had a pedicure, compared his green Squishy Baff to the sensation of “sitting in a pile of sand and water at the beach.” (He was wearing an old bathing suit during the test, after all — modest boy.) He said he expected it to be more gooey, which the directions say is possible if you use two pouches of powder (two come to a box). But he said that he enjoyed playing with it, splashing it and “mixing it until it becomes squishy stuff.” (By the way, he is 8; the product is recommended for children 5 and up.)
He also enjoyed what comes next — pouring the pouch of “Step 2 Squishy Dissolver” into the tub and mixing it until there is only a small amount of residue left that can then be rinsed with water.
The company says there are “no irritants, no artificial fragrance, no preservatives” in Squishy Baff. So what’s in the stuff? Sodium polyacrylate, a polymer used as a thickening agent, grape seed oil, and dyes are in the first powder; sodium chloride, or salt, is the dissolving agent. Nothing irritated my son’s sensitive skin. And it didn't stain his bathing suit, although the packaging warns that refurbished tubs might be prone to it. Read the directions carefully.
FYI: Parents on a schedule should know that you will need to give your child a real bath afterward, so allot extra bathtime if you plan to squish it up.