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We bought our daughter this Aquadoodle set from Amazon a couple of months ago, costing £15. She still has a tendency to put things to her mouth so I'm always very wary about her using crayons or pens - I have tried her with crayons a few times but on every attempt she has put them to her mouth straight away. I also don't like pens being used incase they end up being used on something other than paper! This aquadoodle set attracted me because it supplies a pen that works by only using water. It is recommended for children 18 months and over.
The set is quite basic inside - I admit that I was a little disappointed upon opening the box. All the box contains is a pen and a special mat that can absorb the water - there weren't even any instructions! It is straightforward but I did think a small leaflet on how to use it might have been handy. The pen is opened at the bottom via a screw opening, the main part of the pen is then filled and the bottom is replaced. The first thing I noticed about the pen is that the screw works to the opposite way than usual - the way it opens just doesn't feel natural and I automatically always try to open it the opposite way. There is a label on the pen to indicate though which way that it screws open just incase of confusion. I have a feeling that the opening has been done on purpose, just to make it slightly harder for a child to figure out.
The pen has a dabber ending, it's quite thick at around 1cm in diameter and around 1cm in length. The pen lets water out upon contact with anything, but is easily mopped up if it touches anything other than the mat. It doesn't let a great amount out either, it's just enough. I'd say the pen lasts for about half an hour for us before I need to fill it back up. That's based on drawing very simple lines though, as well as a couple of doodles by me to show her how it can be used. We sometimes have an issue with the pen - my daughter loves to carry it about everywhere so I struggle to take it from her to fill it back up! I do always ensure that she's supervised with it, as even though it's a water based pen, I am conscious that there is still a screw part to the pen that she could pull off and the lower end isn't very big.
The mat is just the right size for us, being 75cm x 75cm. It means that there's enough drawing room but it doesn't take over the room completely when we lie it out flat. It is made from a special material that soaks the water to it when it comes into contact with the pen. The pen and mat work exactly in the same way as pen on paper would - if you use the dabber to draw a flower for instance, then the flower appears on the mat drawn in water. The only difference being that the drawings and doodles on the mat disappear as the water dries out - I'd say that they last about 10 minutes before they have faded away completely. There are no keepsakes with this - even if your child does a masterpiece of Art, unfortunately it will disappear soon after! The good thing is that it is always ready for the next session - there's no need for me to wash it or prepare it for the next go, it's just a case of placing it out and filling the pen up. It folds nice and flat so it's also really easy to store between uses. If any marks do get on the mat, it can only be hand washed.
The mat has little pictures all of the way around the border, I think partly to give ideas for drawings. They are of basic things - a ball, a car, a fish for example and all represent the letters of the alphabet. There are no limits to this mat as you can draw anything on there - I write her name on there to show her, then another time we'll write numbers on, on another go we draw pictures - the possibilities are endless and as it doesn't take that long to fade you can incorporate a few of these into the one session of doodling! The size also means that there's a good space for a series of doodles.
The idea of this set is fantastic. I am made up with the way that my daughter has taken to it - she pulls the mat out herself to let me know that she wants to play so I set it up for her and it entertains her for a long while. I also love the fact that it is helping to get her used to holding a pen. She holds it with her whole hand at the moment but over time and continued use, she will eventually get used to holding it properly and it can only help her with that. It's also a great toy to help her get creative!
I've scored it 5 stars. I do feel that instructions could have been included but I don't think that is enough to rate any less. It is easy enough to get the hang of using. I feel that £15 is about right for it too - I probably wouldn't pay much more because it does only consist of a mat and pen but the concept is fantastic and considering the use we've had, I feel we've received our money's worth!
Thanks for reading :o)
Having a daughter with an insatiable appetite for her mother's printer paper to draw on, I saw the Tomy Aquadoodle and just had to have it!
At first glance, my dear husband had visions of the Aquadoodle being a "messy" toy (big mat + water = mess), but he need not have worried as nothing could be further from the truth.
When you receive your Aquadoodle you will receive the mat itself and what looks like a marker pen.
The Aquadoodle mat itself is the perfect size for several children, or mother and child, to sit around. It can be used either on a worksurface or on the floor. The mat is mainly white in colour. Around the edges of the mat are the letters of the alphabet, together with a corresponding item (an elephant for the letter "E" for example) and numbers one to ten.
Drawing with the Tomy Aquadoodle mat is so simple. All you have to do is unscrew the nib of the pen off (this is a reverse thread so that little ones cannot do this themselves) and fill it up with water. Now you are ready for some drawing fun!
You just simply use the marker as you would any normal pen and "draw" on the mat. You will see the mat turns blue wherever you have used the marker. You can draw, write or even trace around the letters and numbers on the mat for great learning fun.
The pen lasts a very long time and we don't find that we have to fill it up very often during playtime.
The beauty of the Aquadoodle is that once your child has finished drawing on it, the mat will dry (very quickly normally) and they can draw new pictures all over again - saving this Mummy a lot of expensive printer paper!
Our house can be quite warm in the winter months and at the moment after five minutes or so the drawings have disappeared, ready for more drawing fun.
I love the Aquadoodle and it is honestly one of the best toys I have bought my daughter yet. She has drawn on it every single day since she has had it, and it is so compact that I have packed it and taken it with us when we are visiting. There is absolutely no mess, the water dries out and does not soak into your floor or carpets at all. It just sort of vanishes!
An amazing toy that I highly recommend.
I bought this for my 20 month old at Christmas as he had been starting to enjoy using crayons etc, and I was drawn to the no mess aspect of it!
On opening it I was pleasantly suprised by the size of it, it is square and around about 80cm each size. Around the edge are pictures corresponding with letters of the alphabet. There are also the numbers 1-10 with pictures. Around the border of the drawing part of the mat are the alphabet letters in both lower and upper case that are highlighted when you use the pen to colour over them.
The mat comes with a chunky pen that you fill with water and it soaks in to a felt nib. It also has a safety feature of a reverse screw on tip so its harder for children to open.
The mat is white and when drawn on with the water pen makes whatever you have drawn show up as blue. The drawing last a few minutes before it dries and fades and you can re-use that space. There is plenty of room on the mat so you never fill it before it dries. We have had it for month now and it has been used everyday, it is still in good condition but the pen is starting to wear so I have bought a couple of spares.
It cost £15 which I think represents good value for money. It seems very good quality and my son loves it.
An added bonus that I never really thought about using it for though is learning and speech development. My son has started talking much more and he will sit for a very long time while I draw things for him to name so it has been educational too. The water in the pen lasts a long time, but it would be good if it came with two.
At a Glance Aquadoodle is no mess drawing with water. Children can create their own pictures using the water pen. Once revealed, leave it to dry and let the fun begin again. Features and benefits for Aquadoodle Classic Requires N batteries Aquadoodle is the new name for AquaDraw, the no mess, drawing with water creative toy. Good clean fun ? no ink, no brushes, no paint to run. Aquadoodle Classic is a lovely large mat which allows young children to develop their drawing skills by using only water. Simply fill the Aquadoodle pen with water and draw on the mat ? doodles appear as if by magic. Features all the magic of Aquadraw ? no mess drawing with water ? now in glorious technicolour. Create pictures with the Aquadoodle pen or make larger paint brush effects with the special paintbrush pen. The bright fun pictures around the edge are all based on the water theme to inspire children's imaginations.Let little hands create their own masterpieces and this can be used over and over again as the water dries the picture fades and the mat is ready for the next creation.Bright fun pictures around the edge help with letter and number learning and are great for copying basic writing strokes. Product size: height 95.5cm, width 79cm, depth 2cm, weight 0.2kgIncludes: 1 Aquadoodle mat and 1 Aquadoodle pen. What's in the box: 1 x Aquadoodle Mat 1 x Aquadoodle Pen