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My sister in law very kindly sent this to my youngest son as a present for his 4th birthday earlier in the year. When he opened this present, I was very pleased with it, as it looked a lot of fun, but in a controlled way, which is only a good thing with my son as he gets a bit carried away when given more creative freedom.
It wasn't long before my children were pestering me to get this one out to play with, so we cleared off the coffee table and set to work.
Included in this kit is everything you need to make 5 mosaic pictures featuring different wildlife scenes. There is a picture of a fish, a butterfly, a giraffe, a toucan and a flower, which are all printed onto a thick A5 piece of card. You get 16 different coloured pens to create your artwork, and 9 pages of mosaic tiles which are a bit smaller than A5 in size.
We have not attempted mosaics before so the first picture we did was trial and error, and we discovered that sticking the tiles on first was not the best way to go about it. The best results occur if you colour in the background first, and then put on your tiles. Otherwise, even colouring as an adult with a steady hand, I was getting felt pen on the top of the mosaic tiles and it looked quite messy. (It might have been helpful to have a simple instruction on the packaging to do your colouring first, as kids will just want to go straight to sticking. )
Both my 4 and 5 year old boys found it quite easy to remove a tile from a sheet and stick it on to the template on the picture provided. It was very helpful to have squares pre-marked onto the grid. My 5 year old could get his squares into the grid with no help, but my 4 year old sometimes needed a bit of help. If he stuck one down and then needed it moving, I could carefully remove it if I did it straight away and reposition it for him.
I found the crayola pens provided were good quality. They lasted long enough to colour all 5 pictures, and they were still going strong after this to use in other creative projects. There was also ample sticky squares provided which allowed for some wastage, or just some spare to use on their own picture once they completed the kit.
I really liked the fact that although it was quite prescriptive as you had to put the squares in a particular place, there was also some freedom as to what colours we wanted to use. If there had been colour pictures on the packaging to show us what to do, we might have been more tempted to copy what we could see, but we were free to choose what colour our fish should be, and to make our own symmetrical pattern for the butterfly.
The resulting pictures we made are something the children could be very proud of, and they are on display in different rooms of the house. I would definitely recommend this kit to other parents. We had at least one hour of entertainment per picture, and we enjoyed working together as a team to produce some lovely pictures on a few different occasions. A child completing this on their own would be entertained for even longer.
The recommended age for this kit is age 3 plus, personally, I don't think my youngest son could have done it at 3, as he only just managed aged 4. My eldest would have been ok though, so it depends on how much your child likes craft and how co-ordinated they are. As I didn't buy this, I decided to investigate the price. It is for sale on amazon for £20.99, which is rather too high a price in my opinion. It is available in Argos for £10.49, or a current deal allows you to buy two toys for £15, so it would be a bargain for £7.50. It really is a lovely kit, and I think both boys and girls would love it.