These aqua mats have been a fantastic time occupier for my daughter aged 3 and she has enjoyed them since she was 1 and a half also.
An easy to place mat with a hidden drawing that only shows itself when it has the pen that has been filled with water applied onto it. You fill up the pen and then the child can just draw and the colours show up which they find fun and of course quite magical also.
The best advantage however is that kids can draw and make pictures without any mess as no pens, pencils, crayons, are needed only a secure pen filled with water which is supplied in the pack.
I have had hundreds of these mats as once I stated to the family she loved them we got one from each member for christmas and birthdays, so now have a years supply, but she never bores of them and because they dry out, the picture then dissappears again so they can be used over and over again, so a continual use toy for a cheap price.
Generally they cost around £5-6 for a pack of 3 or 4 mats and for this to be used time and time again you cant go wrong. The pictures are lovely, colourful and bright and so can attract not only your toddler and entice them to do more but also babies to, and the magic of seeing the picture appear and then dissappear again makes babies intrigued hence wanting to try it themselves and so in fact can be a fantastic teaching aid for younger ones in drawing.
This is something I in fact found that the more my daughter used these mats the more she wanted to draw her own pictures and used her imagination, so all in all a great educator toy and wonderful when you need time to do things as an adult as children will sit with these for hours, just make sure you have enough mats to occupy them and plenty of water to keep filling up the pens!
My youngest son turned two recently and my oldest decided that a pack of 'Aquadraw Mini Mats' would be the ideal gift for his little brother. I was particularly pleased with this choice as it was under a tenner and is also a product that claims to be mess-free. Every parent's dream!
We picked ours up from Wilkinson's and paid £6.99 for a pack of four mini mats. There are a few different varities all featuring familiar characters from children's programmes, including In the Night Garden and Dora the Explorer, but my eldest chose Winnie the Pooh. This went down well with the birthday boy who enjoyed pointing out the characters he recognised from the packaging.
The box included four small reusable mats that appear totally blank and a 'pen' which actually includes no ink and just needs to be filled with tap water. The children use the water to colour over the mat and bright pictures start to appear as the mat gets wet. The pictures then fade as the mat dries and the mats can be painted over and over again. It is an incredibly simple but ingenious idea as kids love colouring and painting and most parents hate clearing up the mess afterwards! This handy little product gives your little one(s) the opportunity to get creative while cutting out all the hassle.
The mini mats claim to be suitable for children aged over 18 months and these seems a reasonable age limit as a child around that age would be perfectly able to enjoy using these mats as they are so simple to use. The pen supplied with the pack unscrews the opposite way to what you would expect, presumably to make it more difficult for toddlers to unscrew. My six year old unscrewed it with ease but, as the pen only contains water, it wouldn't be a major problem if a particularly wily toddler also managed to work it out.
The small size of these mats makes them ideal for travelling or for keeping in your changing bag for those times when you need to keep a toddler occupied - meals out and holidays, for example. I have to admit that these don't hold my two year old's attention for quite as long as I hoped they would! I took them with us to use when we went to his brother's sports day but they didn't keep him amused for very long. Never mind - it was worth a try! Surprisingly, my six year old seems to enjoy playing with these more than his little brother at the moment. Perhaps that's why he chose them!
The packs only contain one pen, which is a bit of a shame when the pack contains four mats as, obviously, only one child can play with the pen at a time - unless you buy other sets of the mats, I suppose. Neither of my boys are particularly great at sharing and the mats led to a few arguments and tears. The mats themselves are a lot thinner than I'd imagined them to be. It does make them extremely portable but I'm not sure how durable they will be in the long run.
I had planned to buy one of the larger versions of these for Christmas - either the Deluxe version or Thomas one - but I'm in two minds whether to get one or not now as my youngest doesn't seem too interested just yet. While he does colour in the pictures and points out the characters excitedly as they magically appear, he soons get bored and moves on to something else, so it might be something that he enjoys more as he gets older. If I do get another one it might solve the arguments about who is going to play with the pen first, although I'm not convinced that they would end up playing nicely together!
I bought this item for my niece for christmas and she really loved it, so much so she takes them with her everywhere she goes, which is great as they keep her entertained.
The mats bring pictures to life with water, you usually get four different pictures in a pack (but depends on which versions you purchase), there is no mess whatsoever so they can be used at home or in the car etc. The pack also includes the aqua draw pen.
All you have to do is simply fill the Pen with water colour in the pictures. No mess or fuss and it's ideal for very young children taking their first creative steps. Once you have finished colouring in the picture simply let it dry & it is ready to use again (this can be done over and over again)
The best bit about this product is there is no mess whatsoever so you never have to worry about you little one drawing on you carpet or walls.
My daughter loves to draw, and as we don't want to encourage her to draw anywhere but paper, we decided to start off with introducing her to the Aqua Draw mini mats. These are special designed drawing pages that only work with pens filled with water. The idea is much like the colouring pads that were available years ago which worked when you used a paintbrush on the page and a picture appeared.
We chose the Winnie the Pooh version as my daughter loves all things tigger so we knew these would be a hit. For our £6.99 we received a flimsy outer box which contained four mini mats and an empty pen. Each mat is approximately 25 cms by 15 cms. They each have a different picture, and on each one some of the picture is already filled in. I assume this is because they are designed for small children and makes the recognition that these will need to be coloured a lot easier for them than staring at a blank sheet of paper.
The pen is basically an empty shell made with plastic and the nozzle is almost like a small piece of foam shaped to look like a tip of a pen. The pen is designed to that is does up back to front. I'm assuming this is to stop inquisitive children from twisting the lid in the right way and spilling water everywhere.
As we started off with a full pen and a daughter, and finally a drawing mat, we encouraged her to put the pen over the paper. She giggled with delight the first time she saw the picture appearing before her eyes. It was truly amazing to watch. She is very uncertain with a pen still at her young age of 16 months but she can scribble in lines rather than circles or drawing lots. Her pen grip is still quite shaky as her wrists haven't developed properly yet.
I find this activity lasts us about five minutes before she gets bored and moves ob again, but for those five minutes she is learning a lot of skills such as how to hold a pen, the magic of drawing and seeing pictures change before her.
The mats will transform before your eyes when you apply the water to them. If you leave them for a few hours the coloured in sections fade away again and they are ready to be used another time.
I find my daughter doesn't quite understand this aspect of it at the moment and she looks puzzled sometimes when we look at them again later after drawing.
The pen itself will hold enough water for one mat. After this it will need to be re filled again. This is an annoying aspect but not necessarily a bad one as a large pen would go on forever and there is only so much colouring you can do.
Overall I think these were worth the money. Although it says suitable for children 18 months and over, we find introducing them to our daughter now has done no harm at all and hopefully she will learn that pens go on paper and nowhere else.
They are a really go activity that will last for a long time of looked after properly. Made by Tomy you can buy these from all major retailers.
Now children can aquadraw their favourite characters - in colour! Simply fill the pen with water and draw to reveal a colour scene. No mess, no fuss and impossible to go out of the lines - ideal for very young children taking their first creative steps. Scenes magically fade so pictures can be created again and again. Contains 4 different scene cards & 1 aqua draw pen.