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For my daughter's second birthday, she received this Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Pad (habitats) from her Uncle. I was pleased (on her behalf) as I think the Melissa and Doug toys are brilliant and usually great quality. My daughter is also at the age where she is enjoying stickers, especially reusable stickers where she can reposition them again and again. I have seen this sticker pad in TK Maxx for around £4 which I think is brilliant value for an item that has a durability about it.
This sticker pad is based on 'habitats' and there are 5 habitat scenes for children to place appropriate (or unappropriate!) stickers on. These habitats include a farm, underwater, jurassic scene, jungle, and an African scene. For each scene there is page of reusable stickers, in fact on the front of the sticker book it claims there are over 150 stickers. Each page has a wide variety of stickers from big to small, covering everything you can think of for a particular scene. Even though it makes sense to use the stickers on the correct scene, there is no reason why they can't be moved around to create a silly scene, like a cow in the jurassic land!
This sticker pad can keep my daughter busy for quite a while. The only trouble she had was at the start when she found it hard to get all the stickers off the original page. However, once they were out and she had stuck them on, there is no diffculty moving them around and re sticking them. They are very flexible vinyl stickers that therefore provide hours of fun. My daughter very often plays with this in the morning when I'm getting ready for work, sitting on our bed taking stickers off, making up little stories, but also likes to take it in the car and she can play with this on a long journey.
This is a durable toy and one that my daughter comes back to again and again. It is well worth the money and will keep a young child and older occupied for a considerable amount of time, as well as encouraging their imaginative and story telling skills. Another great toy from Melissa and Doug.
Like most other pre-schoolers and toddlers, my kids love stickers and sticker book and if given one will go through it at an astonishing rate until the stickers are all gone or the book is completed. As a parent, I have to admit that I love sticker books too due to the fact that they are mess-free, yet still creative and slightly crafty and that my children love to do them so it's a great way of keeping them occupied for a while. However what I don't like is the cost considering how little time they can be used for. Most books are completed within an hour or so and so this activity is fairly expensive and feels a little bit too disposable for my liking, with the majority of sticker books not using reusable or including low tack stickers which can be repositioned. On searching for an alternative product, I discovered my new favourite company, Melissa & Doug and in particular their Habitats Reusable Sticker Pad which seemed to fit the bill and I will be reviewing this product below.
The pad itself is rather large (bigger than A4) and consists of a front cover, 5 sheets of reusable stickers, 5 scenes and a back cover. The cover as shown above clearly shows 4 out of the 5 blank habitat scenes which are included, namely underwater, farm, jungle, desert and prehistoric. It also shows some of the reusable stickers which can be found inside the pad. The cover states that this product is suitable for children aged 3+ and I would agree with this, because some of the "stickers" are quite small meaning that they are can be fiddly to apply and the urge to eat them may be too great for really young children!
The stickers themselves are not really stickers and instead of being paper stickers which are tacky on one side, these are made of a plastic/vinyl material which clings to the glossy paper (just like window stickers) and do not rip or tear. These means that they are able to be repositioned and moved about as much as you like and there is no chance of them being stuck to things that they shouldn't be (books, important papers, the cat...). We loved the fact that the reusable stickers work really well when stuck onto glass and so we have made numerous animal scenes on our patio doors. The back cover of the pad helpfully gives tips on how these can be refreshed if they lose their cling, by washing them in soapy water and allowing them to dry.
As you may have guessed, easy habitat scene has a corresponding sheet of "stickers" which can be applied to create a scene of your choice. For example the sticker sheet containing a large whale, seahorse, shells and giant squid can be used with the underwater scene sheet. Of course if you child so wishes they can mix these up and use their imagination in playing, perhaps placing a dinosaur in the farm amongst the hay bales or making a sheep visit the rain forest. With over 150 stickers included there are plenty of options and possibilities. I like the fact that because this is a pad, you can take the sheets out so that more than one child can play with it at once, great for siblings or friends!
My children have had great fun with this product and it worked wonderfully as a sticker book replacement. There are so many stickers included that there are lots of possibilities and the stickers and habitats have been a good educational tool in teaching my daughter about the different parts of the world and the animals which might live there. As you would expect the included stickers are mainly animals, but there are a few others too such as a farmer, hay bales, a safari jeep and a volcano to name a few. I really like how varied the animals are in each landscape and my child now knows what a squid looks like and the different types of big cat there are. The illustrations may be of scary looking animals such as dinosaurs and stingray, but they have been produced in a non-threatening way and whilst they are obviously recognisable they are friendly and colourful cartoon animals rather than photographic reproductions.
There are a couple of negatives to this product, but I would say that the positives outweigh the negatives. However we have found that when the stickers start to lose their cling, they can get everywhere! Especially the smaller ones and you may well be finding little tiny chicks or fish in random places where they have fallen off the sheets. In addition to this, if you decide to take the pages out of the pad so that more than one child can play with it at once, it is quite difficult to put it away tidily. I tend the put the loose pages in between the covers, but these can (and do) slip out regularly. Perhaps a box would be better so that the sheets and stickers could be kept safely packed away after use with less chance of losing things on the way!
Having said that, I do really love this product and it has saved me lots of pennies now that I don't have to keep buying sticker books! I have purchased this product numerous times as gifts and it is a great price for when you want to buy something for a classmate, but aren't sure what to get for them. It is also unisex and of equal fun for both girls and boys (who seem to favour the dinosaur page in my experience!). I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this product, but have deducted 1 star for the negatives listed above.
Available to buy from Amazon for £5.75.