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After my sons completed a Crayola mosaic kit earlier this year, and thoroughly enjoyed themselves doing so, I was looking at buying them another kit for Christmas to complete. The Orb Factory was an obvious choice as they do a large selection of themed kits such as dinosaurs and fairies, and I have read a few reviews about these kits and knew that they were good quality. I spotted the Robot kit, and knew it was something that would appeal to my children.
The kit cost me around £14 which is slightly more than I thought I should pay, but this is quite a good quality kit and the box it came in was pretty large and contained everything my children needed to make 5 mosaics of robots.
The card that these robots are printed on is a really thick good quality card. Each is printed in colour, and has a stand like you get on the back of photo frames on the back of them, so that when the child finishes their art work it can be displayed with the greatest of ease. On the back of each picture, there is a little short sentence telling you the name of the robot and a couple of facts about their personality which I thought was a nice touch. As well as being printed in English, it was also present in french, german, italian and spanish. There was also a small box that says this was made by .... for the child to fill in.
The robots all differ in appearance and size. Some have guns they are holding onto and some are smaller and less complicated to make than others. All have numbered squares on their bodies, and this is where the child is supposed to stick on the small provided squares and jewels, and there is an accompanying sheet which tells you the number that each adhesive jewel or tile corresponds to. The re are three coloured jewels like sequins, 5 shiny metallic looking coloured squares, and then two matt squares. There are also some larger accessory stickers that look like the eyes or the gun fire on the mosaics.
For those unfamiliar with the mosaic kits, each particular colour of adhesive tile is located on a sheet. You have to remove just one at a time to add them, and it is not overly tricky, but young children may need help to only take off the backing paper rather than just pulling the surface off the tile. Because my children are familiar with the concept of colouring in by number, and they have done mosaics before, it took very little explanation of method before they were off to work. There followed a lovely peaceful couple of hours where they worked on their individual robots in a co-operative way, with the occasional reminder needed of what number went with which colour. There were plenty of each tile in the set, and I was really impressed with the end look of these robots. My sons took them straight up the stairs to display in their bedroom.
The manufacturers recommended age on this one is age 5 plus. I think you can safely judge this one on the level of interest that your child has in craft and the attention span they have. It would be possible to do one robot at a time rather than all in one go, and because you are only doing one sticker at a time then you can stop whenever you see fit. I find that when my kids start something like this they like to complete it in one go. My youngest son did end up needing some adult help when his concentration went, but he is only four and a half. His brother didn't even want to stop for his lunch, so 6 years is a pretty good age for it. I find it enjoyable doing this sort of activity with them, and it is also not overly messy as apart from picking up small squares of backing paper, there is nothing to get spilled or ruined.
I will certainly be keeping my eye out on if there are any more suitable kits for my children. I would prefer to pay a bit less but any kit that can occupy children so constructively is good in my opinion.