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I first came across Crayola Colour Wonder last year when I purchased a set to keep my daughter busy during our train journey to Paris. She enjoyed it so much that I recently purchased another Colour Wonder set to keep her busy during another holiday journey. Here's our experience...
** Different Colour Wonders **
There are 2 sizes of Colour Wonder - a larger set and a smaller set. I figured the smaller 'mini' set would be the most suitable for travelling with. There are also a number of different Colour Wonder's to choose from, including Toy Story (which is the most unisex set I've seen) but on this occassion I chose The Princess & The Frog set.
** Contents/Packaging **
Crayola Mini Colour Wonder comes packaged inside a foil packet, which may appear like a present to a child which is nice for them. It's also useful for keeping the pens together whilst travelling. Inside the packet comes 3 chunky Colour Wonder pens (green, brown and purple) and a mini colouring pad.
** Colouring Pad **
The colouring pad is 7 x 5 inches and has 15 pages. It features most of the Princess & The Frog favourites including Tiana (human and frog form), Prince Naveen (human and frog form), Ray The Firefly, Louis The Crocodile and Mama Odie - no Shadow Man though. The colouring pad has a ringbinder at the top which makes turning the pages and tearing the pages out relatively easy.
** How to use **
The Colour Wonder is really easy to use and needs no instructions - just colour the pictures and change pens as you wish. As you draw the paper magically turns from white into the colour of your pen!
** Overall **
The pens only work on the Colour Wonder paper and run clear when used on anything else. This is excellent as it means it's impossible to make a mess with the pens - perfect for out and about. No more colouring on tables, chairs or hands - yipee!
This was the second time my daughter had used Colour Wonder and being a little bit older than last time she really took her time over colouring the pictures inside the lines and trying to get the colours right. I wasn't too sure if she was going to like it as much as she did the first time around (which was with the Toy Story set) but I was pleased to find she did. It's quite unique (we certainly haven't used anything like it before) and my daughter was gobsmacked when her transparent pens began making colourful pictures on her white pages, despite having used Colour Wonder before (I think maybe she had forgotton a lot about it from last year)! She was impressed with all of the pictures and especially enjoyed colouring in different pictures of Princess Tiana's dress.
There is a time delay of about two seconds inbetween the pen hitting the paper and the colour appearing - this had it's upsides and downsides. The upside was that it made it feel all the more magical (there was a lot of "ooohh"ing and "wait for it!"s), the downside was that it was a little confusing for my daughter to know which bit she had just drawn over and which bit to draw over next, although I must say she found it easier than she did last year. This may frustrate some children, although my daughter wasn't really fussed by it.
One thing which we both particularly liked about Colour Wonder is that in each picture are hidden things. You cannot see these things on the paper before colouring but when you begin colouring the pictures magically appear. I thought this was very clever and my daughter enjoyed the surprise element to it. Hidden things included hearts, musical notes, stars, swirls (and other patterns), frogs, a water fountain and some of the characters names.
As there are only 3 colours to choose from my daughter was quite limited but most of the things pictured had a green and brown colour scheme (and she appeared to use the purple to complete bits which didn't require green or brown) so it worked out just perfect for her, unlike the Toy Story set which she found herself wanting different colours.
The size of the colouring book was compact enough to easily store in my daughters bag and for her to whip out on the train. She also used it when we reached our destination in various restaurants etc.
This product is recommended for children 3+ but I think 2 year olds would also benefit from it. I think it would be best enjoyed by children upto around 6 years. I would suit girls much more than boys - too many pretty dresses and love hearts!
The Colour Wonder pens and paper don't appear to be sold seperately, which is a pain as after you've finished the colouring book (bearing in mind there are only 15 pages) you are stuck with useless pens. The same if the pens get lost/ruined/dry out - the colouring book is pointless without the pens (unless you just use normal pens/pencils/crayons to colour the pictures in, which is besides the point).
The product description on Amazon claims that the 'colour only appears inside the line' and has 'perfect end results' which is untrue as the pens will draw anywhere on the page that you want them to. This wasn't really a big deal for us as it probably would have looked neater but might have made it a bit boring - restrictive and not as creative. It's worth taking note of though.
I paid £3.49 on Amazon.co.uk for our Crayola Princess & The Frog Mini Colour Wonder, which I think is very reasonable.
Before we got married earlier this year, I decided I wanted to have something to entertain the children during the waiting time when they get restless. I also didn't want to provide anything that would create mess.
We settled on Crayola Wonder Mess Free travel colouring packs because our daughter had received a larger version in the months prior to our wedding and we thought it was a good idea.
The Princess and the Frog travel sets were provided for the little girls in our party. We managed to buy them for £3.49 each from Amazon which is an average price from looking around.
In the packet is a spiral bound colouring book with fifteen pages and three special pens. It's all encased in a disposable packet that's emblazoned with pictures from Princess and the Frog. The colouring book itself is on the small side, but you have to remember this is designed as a travel set, so it's not going to be very large.
I think three pens is ample for the size of the book and they last really well from what I've seen watching my daughter use the book after the wedding.
The pens work much in the same way as old magic paper and water. The pens are coloured by their lids and the corresponding colour appears on the paper when used, but the tips of each pen you draw with are clear.
I liked the fact that the pens won't work anywhere else apart from this special paper. This meant that even the smallest of children could colour in without making a mess. Just what I needed on the wedding day.
The pack is recommended for children age three years and over, but to be honest a smaller child could use this set under adult supervision. The most you will have to worry about is the lids of the pens being swallowed and the pens being placed in mouths etc, but with correct supervision this is avoided.
Our daughter loves colouring in the pages, but the only thing we found what that once coloured, that's it there's no going back and changing the colours etc.
We are also trying to encourage her to stay in the lines, and whilst she tries it doesn't really matter within this book as the background will stay white and not colour at all if it's not meant to. So in fact it looks like she has coloured in really well when in fact all she really has to do is scribble.
For the price I think this set is well worth the money for what you get. If you buy it thinking it'll provide more entertainment than a travel set then you may be disappointed, but for an event where you want a little peace, or a distraction then this is a perfect mess free set to invest in.