Product Type: Melissa & Doug Art / Craft
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Great for boosting the imagination
Melissa and Doug Hearts and Butterflies Stamp Set
Member Name: xmum2threex
Melissa and Doug Hearts and Butterflies Stamp Set
Advantages: Well made, fun
Disadvantages: A little small
My little girl is obsessed with arts and crafts at the moment. While ordering the boys some trains to paint I knew I needed something for my little girl to do at the same time. We have had a number of sets from Mellissa and Doug and have found them to be fantastic quality, so when I came across this girly stamp set I decided this would be the one. In the set you receive one ink block made up of a pink and purple colour. Of course this carries the girly theme well and my little girl was delighted with the options available. There are also eight different stamps in total. They are all based on the butterfly and hearts theme, but there are different variations so that little one can use the stamps to make lovely pictures.
The whole set comes in a lovely wooden presentation box. We did try to use this to store the set once it had been used once but we found that as the plastic cover kept coming away the pieces would fall out. For this reason the stamps now sit in our craft box ready to be used again. The stamps are a lot smaller than I was expecting. Age recommendation is four years plus so I should have taken this into consideration, but my daughter is still able to fully use this set independently. She does try to colour the pictures in but as she is still a little young this rarely happens as the area is just too small for her little hands. She has just turned 4 so is not too far away from the age recommendation when she received the set, and it has received a fair amount of us in this time.
My little girl was amazed by the set as soon as she opened it. Butterflies and hearts seemed to be a very good theme as she was over the moon when she realised what was hiding inside. She went straight to the craft box to receive some paper and began making a lovely picture straight away. She was a little disappointed there were no colouring pencils inside as she had seen her brothers with a similar version before, but again she just used ones she had previously. There is no set up required other than gathering paper, and other accessories little one may need to use while making a picture. Then I opened the ink pad ready for her and she began. At first she began just randomly printing different pictures all over the page, and once she became bored of this she decided she would draw a picture, and just add the stamping for details in the picture. As there are so many designs in the one box she can use her imagination to make different pictures each and every time.
There are eight different stamps to use, and this mixed with any drawing or picture she likes mean there is no limit to her imagination. She will draw absolutely anything and even if the theme does not match the stamps she will make a border from the just so she can incorporate them into the picture. We found that the stamps worked very well. They can be used on both card and paper without them sliding around. The ridges on the outline for the stamps are deep enough that it produces really good prints. The stamps can be cleaned very easily to swap between the colours, and my little girl actually enjoys making sure her stamps are clean before she uses them. They have stained a little but after the amount of use they have received this is not surprising. I was a little worried because they were so small but she seemed to have no problem using them. They are the perfect size for little hands to hold and move around easily, and although we have had a few smudges pictures overall the results are fantastic.
We have found in recent days that the ink pad is drying out a little. The lid of the casing has always been closed straight after use, but then we have had this set for around three months with it being used at least three times a week. The ink pad still works, but we find that the pictures it produces are a lot more faded. As we have ink pads from other crafty sets my daughter now uses these, but she does miss the pink and purple colour that came with the set. The ink does have a habit of finding its way on to my daughter's clothes and skin. As she is at the lower end of the recommended age group she sometimes forgets and her arm slips over the pad. We have found that it does wash out very easily although I did use a stain remover with the wash just in case. As it does come away from clothes making it perfect for a child's activity as there are no worries for parents. As the design is not too young we find it appeals to a large age range of children. When my niece comes to stay she enjoys using these stamps and she is nine years old so the 4-7 age recommendation can definitely be pushed.
As you can probably tell by now we absolutely love this set. My little girl can play independently or I can sit with her and make a picture. It can be used on both card and paper with ease and as there is so much choice my daughter never seems to become bored. The stamps are a little small which means as my daughter is still learning to colour within the lines it can be a difficult task for her. She rather enjoys this as it means she has to concentrate on what she is doing so provides a challenge. I purchased this for around £5 which is where I get all our Mellissa and Doug craft sets from, and for the price it really is a great investment. We have had this set for months now and it still receives use a few times a week.
Summary: A lovely stamp set