Product Type: Tomy Art / Craft
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Peppa themed mats when you don't want a pig sty
Tomy Aquadoodle Peppa Pig Mini Mats
Member Name: Lools_24
Tomy Aquadoodle Peppa Pig Mini Mats
Advantages: Can be used over and over again, no mess
Disadvantages: Limited entertainment value, each set only comes with one pen, can be expensive
My twin boys love to draw and as much as I encourage drawing and creativity, there are times when they want to draw or let their creative skills loose but I can't give them 100% supervision (i.e. if I'm cooking dinner) to ensure their creative skills stay on the paper in front of them. Mr Lools learnt this the hard way when the boys were playing in front of them and he turned his back for less than 20 seconds to go in the cupboard for more drawing paper and found both my sons using their crayons on our beige walls. So a friend suggested the Tomy Aquadoodle Mini Mats and one of the packs of these I purchased was the Peppa Pig Aquadoodle Mini Mats.
***Peppa Pig Aquadoodle Mini Mats***
Aquadoodle is basically a mat in which allows children to develop their drawing skills by using only a small amount of water. You fill a special Aquadoodle pen up with water and allow your child to draw on the coated Aquadoodle mat and once the water touches the mat the doodles can be seen.
The Peppa Pig themed Aquadoodle mini mats contain 4 different Aquadoodle mats and an Aquadoodle pen. Each of the mats is a greyish colour and is around 19cm long by 15cm high each with a different Peppa Pig themed image on. The Peppa Pig image is revealed and becomes bright and colourful once it is doodle on with the wet pen.
Tomy state that these are suitable from age 18 months and over (with the age guidance on Amazon stating from 18 months to 5 years old).
The Tomy Peppa Pig Aquadoodle Mini Mats are sold by a number of retailers including Boots, Toys R Us Amazon, Smyths, ELC and also from Amazon. The price of the mini mats vary depending on the retailer however some retailers sell these for around £8 per set. Although the mats are reusable over and over again I do think at £8 this is expensive for what they are but there are regular special offers on these and you can pick up for around £4-6 which I feel is much better value.
Mr Lools and I have purchased a number of Aquadoodle Mini Mat sets for my twin boys over the last year or so however the Peppa Pig themed mats were the first set that we purchased.
The Tomy Peppa Pig Aquadoodle Mini Mats comes in a flat cardboard box around 30cm long and 20cm wide and is accessed by a small flap on the top of the box. The picture on the box shows what is contained inside. Inside the box there are four Aquadoodle Mini Mats and one pen in each set. If you have purchased only one Aquadoodle set only one child can play with these at a time because there is only one pen so we purchased a number of these sets (with different themes) to ensure that our twin boys could play together with the Aquadoodle Mini Mats and we did not have scraps over the pen. The packaging is quite small and compact which makes it initially very easy to pop inside of a handbag or changing bag and take out with you as entertainment for a child. However because of the cardboard outer packaging it is not the most durable and I soon found that the box become torn therefore I would instead just pop the mats and Aquadoodle pens into a large pencil case to take out with me. You could put the mats directly into a handbag or changing bag and because they have a plastic coating they would not suffer damage but because they are as thin as a piece of card they do bend easily.
Playing with and filling the pens up is very easy. You simply screw the pen apart fill with around 20ml of water. Screw back together and the pens are filled and ready to be used to draw on the mats with. The pens are quite chunky around 2.5cm in diameter and 12cm long. The nib of the pen is made from a hard spongy material that even when jabbed into the mats cannot bend so are very durable.
My boys started to play with the Peppa Pig Aquadoodle Mini Mats from 14 months old. At this age they were learning to hold the pen and I feel that these mats helped with their basic motor skills perfecting the pincer grip to hold the Aquadoodle pen and then scribble on the mat. They took a lot of pleasure scribbling on the mini mats and then the image on the mat being uncovered which encouraged them to scribble more. I found over the next few months up to the age of around 2 years old they loved to scribble on the mats and watch the different brightly coloured Peppa Pig themed scenes appear and the various different characters. I think out of all of the different themed Aquadoodle Sets the Peppa Pig themed mats were and still are clear favourites. The images are bright and colourful and include clear images with all of the Peppa characters in. The mats once wet immediately change colour and after about 5 minutes they "dry" and turn grey again ready to be reused and my boys would always tend to scribble on each mat at least twice. However once my boys got to around 2 years old they seemed to lose interest in the Peppa Pig Aquadoodle Mini Mats and after scribbling on each of the four mats would look for something else to do.
I think the main benefit of the magic mats is that they are mess free. Although the pen and mats use water this is such a small amount it does not leave a wet mess that you have to clear up. The sponge nib on the pen does not leak and a small amount of water uncovers a lot of the image. This means that the pens do not constantly need filling up and the pen can uncover each of the four mini mats at least twice.
The age guidance on the Peppa Pig Aquadoodle Mini Mats is from 18 months. Personally I found my boys at around 14-15 months were fine to play with both the mats and the pens and I felt the toys were "safe". The pens are quite difficult for an adult to screw apart and a young child would not be able to do so and the pen is large and chunky enough to not be a choking hazard but still small enough for small hands to hold. Plus at this young age I tended to supervise my boys closely with most creative type toys. I feel they got most of their enjoyment out of these Peppa Pig Aquadoodle Mini Mats and the other Aquadoodle Mini Mats when they were under 2 years old and they were entertained for longer at a young age drawing on the mats with water and scribbling away to reveal the image and characters on the mats. At just over 2 years old they still enjoy playing with the Aquadoodle Mini Mats particularly the Peppa Pig themed set however I do find after they have revealed all of the images they tend to ask to do something else rather than start scribbling on the mats that have dried. My friends who have older children around 3 years old play in a similar fashion and I do feel for children over 3 years old these have very limited entertainment value once they have revealed the images for the first time. Based on the Amazon guidelines I would say for a child nearer 5 these would be far too basic and I would not recommend.
I think the Peppa Pig Aquadoodle Mini Mats are a great toy for children to allow them to be creative yet as a parent you get none of the potential mess that goes with drawing or colouring in with crayons. I do not think the Aquadoodle Mini Mats replace the idea of drawing but you can take these along to entertain your child when you are visiting relatives etc. and not have the worry that the moment you turn your back your child has started colouring in the walls and you have to awkwardly apologise. The main benefits of the mats aside from being mess free is that they are reusable and dry quickly so your child can reveal the Peppa Pig themed pictures over and over again. Although for children over 3 I do think these have very limited entertainment value whereas for children under 2 years old they seem to be entertained for longer.
I do think at full price for four Peppa Pig themed Aquadoodle mats and one pen these can be expensive as at full price some retailers tend to charge around £8. However these are regularly on special offer and you can usually pick up for around £4.
Not the best of toys but a great little gift especially for the under 2's.
Summary: Peppa Pig themed images for your child to discover
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