Product Type: Flair Art / Craft
Newest Review: ... spray * 1 bead plopper * 1 bead grabber * Instruction leaflet When you first open the box you will find all the beads in small sealed plas... more
Aqua Beads Art Deluxe Set
Flair Aqua Beads Art Deluxe Set
Member Name: baby-cakes
Flair Aqua Beads Art Deluxe Set
Advantages: nice idea
Disadvantages: too hard for set age range
What are Aqua Beads?
For those of you that haven't heard of them, Aquabeads are small beads that join together when sprayed with water, creating a nice little keepsake.You can make the recommended designs from templates or even make up your own.
Aqua Beads Art Deluxe Set
Rather than choosing a starter set I opted to buy her the Art Deluxe which is quite a large set but it was on offer when I bought it and worked out cheaper than the smaller set. Aqua beads comes in a striking pink box which is covered in different coloured beads. In the centre of the box you will see a large picture of the case full of the beads and the plastic board (the deisgner table) which holds the beads when making the pictures. In large lettering it says "Design beautiful bead creations" just underneath the huge Aquabeads logo. It states age four and above in the top corner of the box so at a glance you can see the age range the product is for. On the reverse of the box you are shown various pictures that can be made with the beads.
Inside the box you will find:
* over 1500 coloured beads
* 1 designer table
* 1 bead case
* 6 template sheets
* 2 square layout trays
* 1 water spray
* 1 bead plopper
* 1 bead grabber
* Instruction leaflet
When you first open the box you will find all the beads in small sealed plastic bags so the first job is to open them all and place them all in the compartments in the case. This in itself was a tricky job and beads were flying all over the place, and this was before even starting to use them!!! The template cards have a range of pictures on them varying in size so there are plenty to choose from. Pictures include flowers, fish, snake, duck, fox and cherries. There is the option to make a three dimensional item such as a little jewellery box also.
Using the Aqua Beads
My little girl was so excited when she opened the aqua beads and of course she wanted to open them immediately, but after a little persuasion we managed to leave it until Boxing Day to have our first try. As I said initially we had to remove all the beads from the bags and put them in a tray which my daughter insisted she was helping, but after the third bag went all over the floor I had to put a halt to the help and do it on my own! As there were quite a lot of bags she was getting a little irritated at having to wait to begin making her design but eventually we were able to get going.
Finally onto choosing the design to make, we looked at the various pictures on the cards and my daughter decided to opt for the elephant - one of the larger designs obviously (!). To begin you need to place the template on the design table and on top of that place one of the layout trays which is covered in indentations to hold the beads in place. The idea is to use the bead grabber to pick up a bead and then place it on the tray. Sounds simple doesn't it! Well, after quite a few attempts my daughter grasped how to pick the bead up with the "pen" as you have to hold down the button at the end as you pick up and transfer it to the tray, releasing the button as you place it onto the tray. Plenty of frustration then followed as she tried to put the correct colour bead into the correct hole in the tray without any of the beads already there falling out. Every single time she got a bead in place the others would roll out of the tray, this even happened when I (and my mum) tried so it wasn't that she was knocking it too much.
Fast forward well over an hour later and my daughter finally lost her temper with it and gave up. I perservered and finally finished the picture as I wanted to see what happened afterwards. When the design is completed, using the spray provided, spray water all over the design (making sure all beads have been covered) and leave for an hour. During this time the beads will magically join together and your design is complete! I have to say that it did take over an hour for the design to be ready but that is probably due to the fact my daughter came back and absolutely drowned it with the water!!
My honest opinion of the aqua beads is that it is simply aged incorrectly. A four year old child will struggle a great deal with something so fiddly and, as my daughter proved, will become extremely frustrated with it. The trays don't fix onto the design table, they simply rest so the tray moves about at the slightest touch, surely it would have been better to have some kind of clip in order to fix it into place to restrict the movement. The spaces on the trays are not deep enough so the beads roll about far too easily so again it would have been much better to be slightly deeper to minimise the chance of the beads just rolling out.
The pens are both quite difficult for a child to use, one of them involves pressing a button to move a bead which again I think is quite difficult for little hands to do. The other pen that can be used you simply push down to pick up the bead but it is tricky to release the bead and you have to sort of roll it out which again moves the other beads!
I personally think the age on this set should be higher, maybe from age five as a four year old will struggle with this activity. My daughter is very used to doing a wide range of craft things and they all keep her attention whereas sadly this set just made her very frustrated and in the end upset. Even my mum and I got extremely frustrated with this and find it hard to imagine any child of this age being able to make up the designs.
As I said earlier in the review, there is the option to make a three dimensional item but you can probably guess that we have given this a complete miss and more than likely won't be using the set at all again. I also think that it is quite hard to tell what the actual pictures are on the template cards, some of them just look like one of those colour blind tests you get at the opticians!!
One good thing with the set is that the beads are stored in a sealed plastic case with plenty of compartments so the various colours can be kept separately and there are plenty spare so if you do wish to add more colours there is space in which to do so.
It is a great shame that this turned out to be a bit of a flop as I did have high hopes for it. You can buy the Aqua beads art deluxe set on Amazon for around £20, thankfully I bought it half price in the toy sale at Tesco!
See the full aqua beads range at www.flairplc.co.uk
Thank you for reading my review.
Summary: Not great!