“ Brand: ELC / Type: Craft Supplies „
I bought this toy around 3 years ago for my son. My goal really was to buy him something that he could be creative with, but to be honest didnt create too much mess. The though of paint, felt tips, crayons etc scared me alittle bit and thought at the time I would go for the safer and cleaner option.
What is this product?
This is a mat, that children can draw on with a special ' pen '. The pen itself only needs to be filled with water, and when the mat is marked with the pen, on some areas you can see patterns come through on the mat, but also they can generally just draw on it as the water leaves marks on the mat, and after afew minutes the marks made disappear so the children/child can start all over again.Very similar idea to the magic books/markers that we used to get as children many moons ago.
The mat itself is square in size, not to big but not too small.Measures roughly 30x30cm . The centre area is clear and white in colour, to allow the children to draw and have fun.Around the middle is green with farm type animals dotted all around the side.Very birght and colourful.
To use the mat to draw on, simply unscrew the top of the pen and fill with water. Screw back on. You can use the pen on its own ( but its abit too small and fiddly ) but better to pop in the pen holder as its quite chunky and easy for little hands to hold and control.
Not only can you draw on the mat, but the pen can be placed in a yellow ' pen holder '. This ' pen holder' can be attached ( the bottom of it ) to seven different areas of the mat that are placed around the edge of it. Once slotted on the top of these areas ( its a raised circle ), it gives of a particular noise that corresponds to the picture next to it e.g theres a duck, sheep, horse, chicken, dog, cow and tractor and each circle provides their sound.
Starting age for using this product is recommended at 18 months old.
So what do I think of this product?
Its one of those toys we recently grabbed out of the toy box because my daughter now is into drawing, and I thought it would be ideal for her to play on and not create too much mess.Its something that both my children enjoy using, and its great for me for a couple of reasons;
1. Only needs water so no clean up.
2. Can be stored away completely flat, takes up no room what so ever.
Acouple of downsides I have noticed this time around. One is the fact originally it only came with one pen and one pen holder.Not ideal if you have two children.So it would have been nice to have had two, even if its for one child, a spare is always handy. The pen is quite small and easily lost ( we lost ours ages ago, but managed to find another one as we have a similar mat with a pen already ), so there should have been some way to attach it to the mat to keep it safe.
The pen only takes a small amount of water at a time, so if they are using it like crazy, you will be running to the sink very fequently.
If its only water that gets on the mat, you have no problem.But if the children decide to be alittle more creative with what they put on it, then it can be ruined.Currently we have some lovely ink stains from an ink pad on it.In general its not hard to clean, give it a wipe with a damp cloth, but some things arent going to come off so easily.
Would I buy this again?
I would, but the product itself does need to be tweaked alittle bit ( as mentioned ). Its easy clean fun with no clean up afterwards. It helps children learn alittle about animals in regards to what animals make what sounds and it helps build their imagination with the drawing aspect and helps build on their sensory skill of hearing and seeing. Its also great for children of quite a varied age range.
I did buy this such along time ago, so cant recall exactly how much it cost, but I did get it in the sale from toys r us and it was below the £15.00. This normally retailed at the time for around th £20.00-£25.00 mark.
The Aquadoodle animal magic sounds is a great idea and we were really happy when my daughter received it as a gift. She did seem slightly old for it as we had given our old Aquadoodle mat away to a younger niece, but she soon had it out of its packaging and was doodling away once again. The mat is aged for 18 months to 3 years. My daughter is just turning 4 but she plays with it so well and actually practices her alphabet on it.
For those not familiar with the popular Aquadoodle, the concept is simple, it is a drawing mat with absolutely no mess at all. A plain white mat with a pen that you simply fill with water allows the mat to be drawn on, as it dries the image /masterpiece will disappear and the next time they play with it it will be a blank canvas so to speak once again.
The older mats when they were first released, as far as I can remember didn't have images underneath but these ones do and this is revealed as they begin to draw. I think it has also changed name as I'm sure when we first bought these years ago for our eldest daughter, they were called Aquadraw and not Aquadoodle.
The difference with this mat to the normal ones is that it has farm animal sounds which make farmyard sounds and tractor noises as they doodle away. This can get fairly annoying (but then most toys with noise do!!!) but the children will love it. For the older ones it is quite good as I was able to say to my daughter, what animal makes that noise, and how do you think you spell that. This allowed us to practice our phonics and made it fun and interesting for her to think about letters. Of course you can play games like this with most everyday tasks but my daughter didn't necessarily think she was learning as she was obviously playing with a toy while she was doing it.
My favourite thing about these Aquadoodle mats is they allow children to let out their creative side while creating no mess! I don't always have time when the girls decide they want to get paints / crafting items out, as they seem to ask at the most inappropriate times, but I can leave this mat and its pen in a place where they can get it out on their own and don't even need to ask.
The only niggle with this item is the fact it only has 1 pen with it. This causes massive arguments even though my eldest is far too old to play with it, it is at the end of the day creative play so she often likes to join in but has to wait till her sister has finished her turn. It would be no trouble at all for another pen to be added or even made available. Also, the item is really expensive! I didn't realise when it was bought for us how expensive this particular one is, until I just googled it - RRP £29.99 and I found it for around £26 on Amazon. Although it is a great toy, I just can't see how it could cost that much to make and have an RRP so high. I would expect this to be no more than £20 as a maximum, so it has to lose at least 1 star for this. The Aquadoodle desk drawing toy is also priced at £29.99 and I can't see how the two can be the same price....
The Box Contains:
1 x Large Aquadoodle mat
1 x Aquadoodle pen
1 x Magic sounds unit
1 x Instruction sheet
Require 3 x AAA batteries.
No mess, no fuss and no stress for Mum, the Animal Magic Sounds Aquadoodle is the perfect way to encourage any budding young artist to develop their artistic and creative skills in an easy to use and fun filled format.This magical new Aquadoodle mat combines no mess, drawing with water and fun farm animal sounds as your child draws.Simply fill your Aquadoodle pen with water, choose your favourite farm yard friend from the images framed around the mat and doodle away to the sounds.Aquadoodle can be used time and time again. As the magical canvas dries, the pictures disappear to allow for new masterpieces to be created.