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The Spooner The Spooner Teacher's Guide Review by Heidi Miller-Ford

Spooner, Inc.
1804 Cleveland Ave.
A National City, CA 91950

The Spooner is a unique board that allows you to sharpen your skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing skills all in a 4x4-foot space. However, if you don't participate in any of these sports, this board is still a great way to strengthen the core, improve balance and coordination, and increase flexibility. It's shaped similar to a skateboard but with a little more curve to it, and it is made of a very durable polypropylene and polyethylene which makes it virtually indestructible. In fact, if you break it the company will replace it.

My son was very excited to try this out. We started by playing the DVD that comes with it, which includes a short instructional section, games, a photo gallery, and a teacher's guide. Within a few short minutes, he was able to learn a number of different tricks and moves to do on the board.

My son's first instincts were to take it out on a grassy hill thinking he would be able to skateboard down it. After much frustration, he came back in the house very disappointed that it would not work. I went out with him and tried, thinking he was doing something wrong, and sure enough, it wouldn't budge. This is definitely something that would work best on a tennis court, skateboard rink, or other smoother surface. Other suggested uses are on sand or snow. Because we haven't had any snow here yet, we haven't been able to test it out that way, but I do think it would probably work very well. While this board can't be used on water because it doesn't float, it could increase surfing skills after using it on land.

The Spooner would definitely benefit those children who need to strengthen their ankles or increase their balance. My daughter has hyper mobility of the hips and ankles, and this board has been great therapy for her. I think for children who love skateboarding, snowboarding, or surfing, this product would give them hours of fun perfecting their techniques. For the outdoor extreme sports fan in your family, this is sure to be a hit. And because of its durability, it will last a long time.

The Spooner Teacher's Guide is an extra that many schools or homeschool families may find useful for physical education class. This guide describes six education standards required by most states. For homeschoolers who are required to keep documentation, this makes it easy to record the standards covered when incorporating the Spooner Board in their gym classes. Classroom management and safety tips are explained to make sure the board is being used in the safest manner.

An instruction page covering three steps used on the Spooner is included. This is the same information covered on the DVD but makes for a nice reference sheet. There are lots of activities and games explained in this guide. Each of them has the educational standard already listed for it. There's a nice mix of individual and group activities included. There are even some rhythms used to teach dance sequences. From this ample list of activities, you can see there are many creative ways to use the Spooner.

Product review by Heidi Miller-Ford, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC , November 2010