Product Type: Orb Art / Craft
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Very Sticky & Very Enjoyable
The Orb Factory Sticky Mosaics - Jewels
Member Name: arleek
The Orb Factory Sticky Mosaics - Jewels
Advantages: Great fun
Disadvantages: Can be damaged if in the wrong hands
Sticky Mosaics are exactly what they sound like, a set of pictures which you complete with the provided sticky mosaic pieces. I think Sticky Mosaics are available in many different styles and themes, but the one my daughter received was 'jewels' which just means as well as the foam mosaic pieces, you also get some jewels to jazz the pictures up a little bit.
==In the Box==
Inside the box we found 5 different A4 sized cardboard designs which at first glance just looked like a lot of squares on the page, but when you inspect them you can see a picture which is broken down into tiny squares, each with a number inside; 5 plastic hangers (for hanging your completed pictures on the wall); and 3700 sticky foam and jewel pieces (I have not counted them, I got this information from the box). The pictures consist of a unicorn, mermaid, castle, princess and a flowery scene.
The foam pieces are set onto small square pieces of paper, and are colour coordinated - so all the pink pieces are together, green pieces are together etc. The jewels are kept separately.
Also in the box we found a colour coded 'key' which helps when creating your pictures, because all the pre-designated squares on the designs have a number inside, and you need to know which colour this number refers to. For example, 1=yellow, 2=orange, so if you see a 2 on the design, you know that it should be orange.
==Let's Get To Work==
My daughter wanted to start doing the mosaics as soon as she opened the present, so we have already got through most of the designs in the box. The recommended age is 5+, but my daughter is 4 and didn't seem to have any problems with completing the task, although she did prefer to have an adult guiding her. I think if the child is good with intricate tasks (the foam squares are about 0.5cm square so can be fiddly) and knows their colours and numbers, then a patient 4 year old would not have any issues with the set.
The first two designs that she completed, were done with constant adult supervision, but the supervision was basically just to keep her company because she was very good at getting the foam pieces from the paper and positioning them correctly on the page. She liked to complete an entire colour before moving onto the next, which is very methodical for a 4 year old, but that's just the way she is. The mosaic pieces are extremely sticky so if you get them in the wrong place, you don't have much hope of re-positioning them, so accuracy is a must. And also if you happen to drop one, or they get in the wrong hands then you can more or less kiss them good bye because they do not come unstuck.
So her first 2 completed pictures were more or less perfect, and whilst they took a long time to complete (a good few hours) she was extremely pleased with the result and is even going to take them to school to show them off to her teacher. The third picture however, I let her 7 & 8 year old cousins help her, and I really wish I had never bothered. I left all three girls doing the mosaic together, thinking the older girls would be disciplined enough to be able to position the squares correctly, and not lose any pieces and guide my daughter through the process. But when I came back into the room, there were wrong colours stuck in the wrong place and positioned haphazardly on the picture, balled up foam pieces on the floor, and entire rows of foam squares stuck into the carpet. This has resulted in there not being enough of one particular colour for my daughter to complete her remaining pictures. To put it bluntly, I was fuming! To think that my 4 year old had carefully constructed her first 2 pictures, only for her two cousins to wade in and destroy her third one, well it's an outrage!
The reason I am telling you this is because, although the box says ages 5+, I would still recommend adult supervision at all times, even with much older children. I suppose it depends on the child and whether you can trust them or not. I would be able to place more trust in my 4 year to work alone, rather than in her much older cousins!
I've often seen these on the internet but never bothered buying one because I was never sure of the quality of the set and if they would be any good, but I have been really pleased with the quality, and the amount of things you get inside the box. I initially thought there was only the one picture to complete, but when I realised there were 5, I was really pleased! The pictures are all made with good quality cardboard so they will hang well on the wall, and the foam pieces are lovely bright colours and as I said earlier, extremely sticky, so once you have completed your picture there is a very low risk of the pieces falling off again. The jewels are also very nice, and come in a variety of different shapes and colours and really add a sparkle to the picture (these are not as sticky as the foam pieces so they need to be pressed down hard in order for them to stick).
My daughter and I really like this set and I would recommend it for other young girls, if they like to do this sort of thing. The child would definitely have to enjoy doing crafty things if they are to get the full enjoyment Sticky Mosaics.
==Price and Availability==
I saw this in Toys R Us for £14.99, and I think it is well worth that price.
Summary: Fun for crafty kids
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