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We originally started with mosaics in our house when we bought our daughter the Crayola Mosaics set last Christmas, having written a review about the item on here a fellow member told me about the Sticky Mosaics collection which I liked the sound of. Myself and my husband bought our eldest daughter the butterflies set for her birthday and she completed it and loved it, my Mam knew how much she had enjoyed it and so when it was her younger sisters birthday a few weeks ago my Mam bought my eldest the fairies Mosaics kit so she wouldn't feel left out.
My Mam bought this set from Amazon, I have never actually seen them on sale anywhere other than Amazon and Ebay but I have been told that Toys R Us sell the sets. On Amazon these sets cost around the £12.50 mark and they don't seem to go up and down in price much like a lot of Amazon items do.
The Sticky Mosaics collection is a really wide range in my opinion, you have got the My First Sticky Mosaics collection which is the same idea as this one but uses bigger pieces, then you have a wide range of the sets for girls with fairies, butterflies and unicorns and the like and then there is a range of pictures for boys such as jungle animals and pirates. You can also get parts of the range which are not just for making pictures such as the card making kit which we have got our daughter for this Christmas and a jewellery box making set so I think the range is great and is suitable for most ages.
The set comes packaged in a brightly coloured cardboard box, the box is really sturdy and it opens from the front rather than the top so that all the bits needed for making the pictures can be laid out for use in the box. The box shows a large picture of a fairy and then the other three pictures that are contains are pictured down the side, the front also shows a snapshot of a little piece of the undone picture and a hand putting a sticker on to show how it works and then 12 little pictures of the sticky pieces and the numbers so if you lost the sheet inside which shows what stickers are what number you would still have a guide on the box. The box states that the set is made by The Orb Factory and that it is only suitable for ages 3 and up, although my 2 year old can't match the numbers up she did enjoy peeling some of the stickers off for her sister to use.
Inside the box you find that there are 4 shaped fairy templates which are on cardboard, the templates are very sturdy and don't damage easily which is great as they are handled quite a bit to complete one. You are provided with 10 different small sticky squares each one being about ½ cm each way and then there are two sheets of gems to be used for that added sparkle. The stickers are all on square sheets with a sticky border of the same design all around the edge, my daughter finds it difficult to get the first couple of squares off the sheets but then after that she is fine and can complete the pictures independently. You get a small rectangular piece of shiny paper which is what I suppose you would class as instructions but literally all it is is a sheets which pictures the 12 different stickers and has the corresponding sticker number underneath along with a little picture in the corner of a hand putting a sticker onto one of the pictures but since the set is so self explanatory proper instructions are not required. Most of the stickers are matt colours which aren't as nice as the ones we got in the butterfly set but then silver and gold stickers are nice and shiny.
Making the Pictures
Since my daughter had already had one of these sets she was confident that she knew what she was doing and at 5 years old she manages to lay all the sheets of stickers out in the correct order so that they are easier to match up. Like I said above the first couple of stickers of each sheet my daughter finds difficult to get off so I helped her with them but other than that she can sit and do this herself and it keeps her peaceful for ages. She has only had the set for the past 3 weeks and she likes it that much that she only has one picture left to complete. The templates for the faires have brightly coloured backrounds on them mainly in pink and yellow with flowers and stripes making them look nice and attractive.
She plain and simply loves these sets, she plays for hours sticking the stickers and she celebrates herself for how neat she can do it. Sophie is very proud that she knows her numbers well enough to do these pictures on her own and she constantly comes and shows me how much she's has done and loves to be praised for her efforts.
Technically you would expect this set wouldn't really make a mess however be prepared for little white squares all over as the backing does tend to break up once the stickers are removed, the top bit of a couple of the stickers also came away meaning I also had little foam squares stuck around but since my daughter plays with the set at the table the mess is easily cleared away and it is a lot less messy than a lot of the activities she likes.
The set is really great quality, the templates don't crease or damage easily and the stickers are great quality apart from the couple that fell apart, once the stickers are stuck onto the templates they stay put which of course on the other hand means if she doesn't get the stickers lined up properly they are not easy to remove and my daughter is not happy.
We have had the butterflies and Fairies sets from this company now and I would say that the butterflies are nicer as they contain more different jewels than the fairies set does and the flower jewels all go on one picture with this set which is a shame as my daughter likes the sparkly jewels although they do all have the other jewels for their eyes. These sets are really good value, they provide hours of fun and when finished there will be extra stickers left over so Sophie can use them on other pictures she makes too.
I first learned about the "sticky mosaics" range when I read an excellent review, which highly recommended them, on this very site. They are an art and craft item and come in various incarnations, the basic premise is that you make mosaics on a piece of card using small stickers. We had tried a few smaller sets after reading the recommendation on dooyoo, but recently I bought this particular set as I thought, correctly as it happened, that it would be much enjoyed.
The Sticky Mosaics "fairies" set costs around £15 - I bought mine from Toysrus - and consists of a box containing 4 card printed fairy pictures to be completed with the stickers included in the set, of which there is a variety of shiny, sparkly and even jewel stickers in a range of suitably girlie colours. Each picture is a bit larger than an A4 piece of paper and has a printed coloured background - you can see a picture on the amazon link above, they are all attractive and appealing to children. There are no instructions in the set as such, other than a printed sheet which tells you which colour sticker goes with which numbers - all the little squares which need filling with stickers have a printed number in them so, eg, all number 1's need filling with shiny silver, there are 12 different sticker types in all. This is far simpler than it sounds and all I can say is that for both my children who, generally, like quite different things, the sticky mosaic set has instant appeal and is really something they enjoy and will spend a long time doing.
What's great is that this activity involves little - to no - mess, sometimes the little backing bit to the tile sticker can become detached and the pieces end up on the floor, but overall the activity is impressively simple and, apparently, compelling at the same time, when my kids got this set they both settled down for two straight hours of making a mosaic - and so proud was the 4 year old with the results that she insisted on taking her fairy with her to bed so you could look at it all night!
Once stuck (the stickers are not too small and fiddly for little hands but not so big that they fill up the page over quickly), the stickers do in my experience stay put, though they can also be repositioned if errors are made. The whole card is not full of mosaic squares - as you can see from the amazon picture - but there's certainly enough sticking in this set to keep them busy for a good while, and hundreds of stickers. We found that there were plenty of stickers to complete the pictures, now proudly displayed, by the way the amazon product page mentions a hanger for this item which it doesn't actually contain. One small criticism I do have of this set is that although each fairy have little 3-d jewels for eyes there are also some flower shaped jewels but these are ALL on one picture, not so much of a problem if you are giving the set to one child but more problematic if you are sharing!
Though this activity doesn't involve any creativity at all - you pretty well need to follow the pattern, this doesn't seem to worry my children - they did use some of the left over tiles to make some impressive sparkly hearts though. I suppose doing this does involve number recognition of sorts, so though my 4 year old can manage this with no help you may find a younger child may need help, I wouldn't have thought a child of much under 3 would have the patience to do this activity (and indeed the smaller stickers may be a choking hazard). I think Orb Factory make sets with bigger stickers and less to complete for the younger age range, and they do a whole range including less girlie things too, like dinosaurs and trucks.
For my girls this set is absolutely ideal and they are saving up for another one, they've had so much fun from making these that I don't mind at all - it's fun, the results are good - and did I mention it kept them quiet and busy for hours? For all these reasons highly recommended!