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Age: 4 Years+ / Type: Drawing

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      26.01.2009 12:25
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      For children from three to one hundred and three!

      When I was a child one of my favourite toys was my Spirograph which I'm sure lots of people will remember. If you are not familiar with the concept of spirograph, it is a geometric drawing toy that allows you to create designs using mathematical curves. The results were always quite spectacular and it was very easy to be successful!

      Recently, at a craft fair I saw someone demonstrating Spira Mouse and it instantly took me right back to my childhood - although there is a big difference. Spira Mouse produces the same kinds of mathematical curves as the old spirograph but it is motorised and that makes it very very clever indeed! I shall attempt to explain...

      I actually bought a Spira Mouse gift set for my five year old daughter for Christmas. The main thing in this set is the Spira Mouse itself. It is a plastic shape that looks a little like a magnifying glass. This is operated by one AA battery and has an on and off switch. In the centre you can place a number of plastic cogs which have holes in order to place felt tip pens. When you turn the Spira Mouse on all the cogs rotate and if you have pens placed in the holes it creates wonderful spiral patterns.

      You do not need to be holding the pens at all like you had to with Spirograph. Also you have the ability to be drawing with many pens at the same time which allows you to create very colourful patterns instantly! You can, if you wish, actually have thirteen different pens rotating at the same time which actually produces a bit of an overloaded design so they actually recommend that you don't use more than four pens at a given time!

      It's amazing to watch the pens going around all on their own and my two daughters could just not believe their eyes - they thought it was magic! And indeed it is quite magical to see the wonderful spiral designs appearing on the paper!

      It's a fabulous little tool and is actually recommended for anyone from the age of three to one hundred and three and I can see why! Young children, like my daughters, will just love it because they can make fun colourful patterns. However, if you are really clever, there are some suggestions for how you can use the Spira Mouse to make real pictures. I can also see how it would be very useful for if you are a card maker or a scrapbooker for creating wonderful backgrounds.

      Within the set that I bought, a number of pens are also included. There are fibre pens that fit very easily in the holes of the cogs. There are also some magic pens that change colour when the special magic white pen is used. This is great because you can create a pattern using one colour. If you then place the magic white pen in the same hole that you used previously, as it traces over the lines the colour will change. My girls just couldn't believe their eyes! There are also some neon pens that provide a lovely glowing effect. Any of these pens can be used with the Spira Mouse and all help to create lovely bright interesting patterns.

      Also in the kit we bought there was another fun item which is the Spirawobbler which also runs on an AA battery. This is enormous fun because you attempt to use it to draw just like any normal pen but it wobbles - creating a fab wobbly effect all over the page. My girls love this too especially the funny feeling they get when they hold it in their hands! There are four gel pens supplied to use with this but you can also use most fibre pens too.

      Finally there are some thicker pens which help you to add further details to your designs. Alongside this you are supplied with a lovely A3 sized art pad with rooms for lots of designs and an instruction book with lots of suggestions.

      The set is described as a fun kinesthetic learning activity and apparently has been found to be particulrly successful when used with children with specific learning needs. You can find out more about Spira Mouse by visiting the website at

      www.spiramouse.com

      You can buy the kit from the website for £24.95. This is a reasonable price as there is a lot in it and it will provide hours of fun. However, as I bought it at a craft fair I did get a promotional offer for £20 with a couple of extras thrown in too which made some nice Christmas presents for my daughters' friends.

      This is a lot of fun and I'm sure that any small child will absolutely love it!

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    • Product Details

      Magic pens, stamps and stencils for hours of creative fun.