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Tomy Aquadraw Deluxe

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14 Reviews

Brand: Tomy / Age: 18 months

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    14 Reviews
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      11.03.2011 23:34
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      great drawing for little ones who you don't trust with crayons

      My mam was asking what to buy my daughter when it was her second birthday and at that point she was only into Tweenies and we had already bought loads of them so we had to have a look through the Argos book to get ideas. Although she hadn't shown a massive interest in drawing by then we decided that the aquadraw deluxe mat looked like a good idea. At the moment the selling price seems to be around the £20 mark although a year and a half ago it was about £25.

      The mat is approx 1 metre square, it is white in the centre for the child to draw what they want with water of course. The set comes with 2 pens to fill with water, these have blue screw top lids and Tomy written on them in bright colours, you also get 2 stencils one red and one yellow with different shapes, vehicles and animals for the child to draw. Around the edges of the mat is the alphabet and for each corresponding letter is a picture beginning with it, each picture is coloured in bold colours, there are also the numbers 1 to 10 with the corresponding amount of little pictures above them.

      The first time we let our daughter play with this was just after her second birthday, the mat is supposed to be suitable for 18 months up over so she was over the age range. This wasn't the best experience, she drew on the mat for 5 minutes and then as soon as our backs were turned she started banging the nib of the water pens on the TV cabinet, we tried to get her back on the mat but she simply wasn't interested and just wanted to see what she could draw on with the water, good job it is just water.

      Needless to say the mat and pens got put away and it was only when we moved last year that we came across it again, by this time she was nearly three and had started to show some interest in drawing so we decided to give it a go again. Well now she really enjoys playing with it and I can now trust her not to try and draw on anything electrical with water!! She hasn't quite got to grips with the stencils but she is trying, the only problem is now is she covers the mat that quickly that she has to let it dry after ten minutes.

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      19.11.2010 17:49
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      A good choice for young budding artists

      My daughters have always loved drawing and painting and used to come home from nursery asking to do more. Sometimes I just didn't have time to set it all up and know I would have to clean a lot of mess afterwards so this was the answer to my prayers.

      The large mat allows children to draw designs on it using a water filled pen. These pictures then gradually fade away leaving a blank canvas to start again. But best of all if they draw off the mat with the pens it is only water so drys up and no worrying about stains etc.

      The mat has numbers and letters printed around the outside which is great for pre school children. They can learn their letters and practice writing them on the mat.

      The mat comes with two pens. These are filled with water. What is clever is that they have been designed so that children cannot open them and empty the water. So to open them you have to turn the opposite way to normal. However I have seen children suck the water out through the nib when thirsty!!!!

      Two large stencils are also included. These include animals, cars and shapes. I found that these weren't great to use as the water would tend to run slightly so the shape never looked quite how it should.

      The mat is large enough for two children to use. I would draw a line down the middle and give them half each.
      You don't need to just use the pens either. I have given them paintbrushes and pots of water too - for that clean painting experience!

      I do think that the mat needs to be left to dry before folding and putting away otherwise it could quite easily get mouldy.

      This set cost me £25. It is a lot of money but I think it is worth it for a mess free experience with young children. I recommend it from approx 18months upwards. Once children start school I think they tend to prefer proper colouring and the mat will get little use.

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        08.06.2010 09:59
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        No mess drawing fun

        Tomy Aquadraw
        Magic Mat that is simply Magic


        My daughter loves drawing and painting though especially with paint, mummy does not like the after job of cleaning down both home and child.
        I have heard of aquadraw for quite a while though as they are quite expensive, we didn't really get around to buying one until recently when I was able to pick one up for a cut of the recommended retail price.


        HELLO TOMY

        Tomy have been going strong for over eighty years now, providing hours of fun for children with their safe and inventive toys.

        Tomy began in 1924 when Eiichiro Tomiyama began producing simply tin toys in Japan. Nearly thirty years later the Tomy brand of toys launched, soon moving from cheap to make tin toys to plastic toys and began offering a whole new range. It wasn't until the 70's that Tomy Ltd really took off around the world

        Tomy produces a wide range of toys aimed at young children with a few exceptions. They are recognized in general by there brightly coloured materials and happy features. They cover many famous childrens faces such as Thomas and are therefore very appealing to young children.


        TOMY AQUADRAW

        Tomy aquadraw is aimed at children 18 months and upwards and are described as magic water pictures. There are a wide range of these aquadraws, many of which have specific characters such as Thomas and Winnie the Pooh themes on them, and many are much smaller and compact (mini mats). This particular Tomy aquadraw I believe is the original one from Tomy.

        The mat itself is a very large and spacious (90cm by 90cm) wipe clean mat with a plain center for the child to draw whatever comes to their imagination. Around the edges there is a thin dotted lin, where on the inside numbers from 1 to 10 and the alphabet can be found which aids slightly older children in counting by working the 'magic pen' over them to bring them up clearer. This will also help them in writing the numbers and letters by use of tracing methods. Outside the dotted line the material is softer and not a drawing area though is decorated with some lovely images which run alongside each letter and number, each with its name. For example, next to 'a' is a lovely picture of an aeroplane with the word written underneath it.

        The aquadraw mat comes with two special 'magic pens' as my daughter calls them. These are durable plastic pens with twist to open caps where you fill them up with water. The caps have a little sponge part instead of a pen nib which the water slowly comes out. This is then drawn onto the mat and it is the water which brings the images from the mat. As said before, the center, the child can draw anything they want and its really like they are drawing - though with absolutely no mess - if the pen goes off of the mat as its only water there are no pen or paint marks to clean from the carpet - just brilliant!


        PACKAGING

        The mat and pens come in a large colourful box in mainly yellow and blue colours. There is a picture of children demonstrating the mats capabilities on the front (one larger one and two smaller pictures) with the 18+ month sign clearly on one side. The back follows the colour theme again, showing a picture of the mat with smaller icons pointing to each of its capabilities to show what it does with a rundown on the toy down one side and the bottom - a lot of writing that's not really needed I personally feel, though I guess they needed to fill in the space somehow!
        The packaging is very eye catching and the large box makes it very difficult to miss on the shelves.


        TIME TO MAKE SOME MAGIC

        The first time we presented my daughter with the mat, she looked a little confused when we started putting water into the pens, and when we gave them to her she wasn't sure what to do with them bless her. It wasn't until we showed her what they were did she finally start enjoying the pens. I even turned around to her and said that they were magic and showed her that they didn't write on the carpet though did on the mat, which started her calling them magic pens. She found this very amusing and for quite a while after she would demonstrate to us that they wouldn't write on the carpet, or the table, or her bunny, or me....

        My daughter is a little too young to start tracing any of the numbers and letters though I am confident when she is a little older that she will learn through that.

        To add to her experience with this mat, we also put some water in a small dish and brought out some clean paint brushes and sponge shapes which she uses when painting and she had great fun 'painting' and making animal shapes on the mat. My daughter also made her hands wet and put this on to the mats and although there was a shape of her hands it was certainly not as clear as shown on the box as it seems that it needs to be wetter to get the best results.

        Do be careful, though, although the mat is wipe clean, certain marks do not come out and do ruin parts of the mat. Our friend's son managed to get actual paint on the mat in clumps and my friend failed to notice until a few days later. She managed to get the clumps off though the paint stains stayed on the mat making those parts useless to the magic water.
        After my daughter had finished we hung the mat over a chair to dry. It wont ruin it by putting it straight back into the box (we have done this too) though it dries quicker out in the open and is ready sooner if your child wants to use it again.

        The durability of the mats are very high and even after being pulled around, they do not rip or tear. The pens on the other hand are not as resiliant. After a number of uses othe sponge tip to the pens begin to loose their sponginess and become quite matted and the pens themselves are easily bent out of shape if stood on!

        The only downside really to this is once they have 'drawn' on every part of the mat, which with my daughter is very quickly; the mat is useless until it has dried which could cause a few upsets.


        PRICE ANDAVALIABILITY

        Do shop around for these aqaudraw mats as they can range from as cheap as £10 online to over £30 in many shops. Personally I think that although these mats are brilliant, they are really not worth £30 as all it is is one reusable mat and two plastic pen shaped containers.

        Aquadraws are one of the biggest products around at the moment it seems and can be found in most toy retail stores, supermarkets which sell toys and many online stores including auction sites such as ebay.
        Other aquadraw products which are available include;

        * Stamp and draw tigger
        * Cinderella aquadraw
        * Rainbow aquadraw
        * Cars aqaudraw
        * Night garden aquadraw
        * Draw and go aquadraw
        * Aquadraw travel case
        * Range of aquadraw minimats


        FINAL WORD

        These mats are beneficial for both child and adult in the sense that the child loves the magic of water drawing and learns through tracing the numbers and letters, and the parent has absolutely no mess to clean up - which is always a real bonus as I am forever cleaning up my daughters toys anyway (one day I hoep she wants to help mummy clean up!). The downside to the mats as mentioned above is that once the whole mat is wet with drawing then it is more or less useless until it dries and the water marks fade allowing room to draw once again.

        The biggest downside to the mats, though, is the price. I think for what it is, even though it is a great toy, it is too expensive. Shop around if you do decide to buy these.

        Would I recommend this product? Yes, though at a cheaper price.


        OTHER INFO

        http://www.tomy.co.uk

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          28.04.2010 15:22
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          Great fun for kids, wil provide hours of funl

          We bought this for my daughters when aged 3 and 18 months. I have to say it's been a great buy and even though we bought it at the standard price of £25, it has been worth every penny.
          When you open the aquadraw out it's a mat around 4 foot by 4 foot. The set comes with 2 aquadraw pens which you unscrew, fill with tap water and they are ready to use. The outer edge of the mat cannot be drawn on but has lots of simple pictures which children can then copy onto the main part of the mat when they are drawing.
          The main part of the mat also has outines of the alphabet and numbers for your child to fill in, I've found really helpful with teaching my children to write.
          Any pictures drawn on the main part of the mat usually last about 10 minutes before starting to dry out and fade, which is perfect as by this time they've usually filled up all the space on the mat, so they are able to start again.
          The aquadraw also comes with 2 stencil sheets to help your child draw basic pictures and shapes.
          Probably the best thing about this toy is that there is absolutely no mess. Even if your child manages to open one of the pens, there is not a lot of water to spill out and as long as it goes on the aquadraw mat, it dries out in a few minutes anyway.

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          09.02.2010 22:36
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          Get creative with your child!

          Whilst looking around for a Christmas present for my daughter, I came across the Tomy Aquadraw Deluxe at the bargainous price of £9.99 and decided to buy it - at that price I really couldn't go wrong, especially as everywhere else was selling it for around £19.99. I've always liked the look of the Thomas the Tank engine version, but it was very expensive and I wasn't sure if she would appreciate it!

          So what is an Aquadraw Deluxe? Well it's basically a way of your child being able to do some "messy play", but without the mess! We currently live in a rented flat, so I am always reluctant to get paints out due to the potential mess and the Aquadraw seemed like the perfect answer for us. In the box, you get a large 90cm x 90cm cloth mat, which is plastic backed, two special "pens" and two giant stencils. The idea is that you fill up the "pens" with water by unscrewing them. The water in the pen then wets the foam-type nib and when you draw on the mat, the water allows you to draw or paint on the mat, with whatever you draw showing up in blue. Seeing as your "ink" is water, whatever you draw starts to fade after a few minutes.

          The mat also has the alphabet and the numbers from 1 to 10 pre-printed around the mat, so that you can trace them with your pens allowing young children to practice their writing skills. Above each letter and number there are corresponding pictures in colour (this part of the mat cannot be drawn/written on), such as Aeroplane for the letter A, Bananas for the letter B and so on, giving inspiration for things to draw yourself and also helps your baby to recognise common objects. There are two large stencils included, one of which has basic shapes on it (circle, heart, star, triangle) and one of which has more interesting shapes to draw around (butterfly, duck, flower). Each stencil has 9 shapes on.

          The Aquadraw is recommended for children aged 18 months plus, but my baby has been playing with it since around 16 months and has got on brilliantly with it. She absolutely loves it and particularly enjoys scribbling on whatever I have drawn on the mat! I don't have to worry about her ruining our belongings or her clothes as the water will dry if she accidentally gets it on anything and it's great to just let her use it without too much supervision. I have heard that some babies just enjoy sucking the water out of the pens, but we have managed to avoid this.

          The only real downside of the mat is that if it doesn't dry properly (or I think if it dries too quickly), then not all of the blue totally fades and it leaves lasting marks on the mat. This is a shame, as it makes it look very used, very quickly. I do find that the nibs on the pens also sometimes get strange fluff on them, but this is picked off easily enough and is no real bother.

          If you are looking for a clean, but creative activity to do with your toddler or young child then it may be worth investing in one of these. We use ours most days and expect that we will continue to do so for quite some time yet.

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            31.12.2009 18:41
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            A great toy

            I bought this for my sons' as one of their Christmas presents this year. They are 2 and 3, so are the perfect age for this and it's a great toy for them to share. It cost around £20, whch for a shared toy I think is pretty reasonable, though I am sure they could sell it cheaper.

            Like many parents I feel rather guilty that I do not allow my toddlers to do painting as often as they would like, because it's a hassle and makes a lot of mess (cream satin curtains splattered with paint...). However, I like to encourage their creativity so when I saw these Aquadraw mats I thought they were a fantastic invention. All that is required to draw or paint on the mats is - WATER (ok, so water can be messy, but at least it doesn't stain!) so your children can have hours of artistic fun without any hassle for you. Win/Win as they say!

            The mats are about 1m square, with a border to add colour and interest. Then around the inside of the drawing area there are letters of the aphabet and related pictures, that are magically revealed when coloured over with water. Mostly the mat is a big drawing surface where your child (or you, if you're feeling artistic) can make big pictures using water in either the pen provided, a brush or even their hands and feet! The pictures then fade as the mat dries, ready to be used again. (Be aware that if your child spills their painting water on it it will take a lot longer to dry, but you can put it on the radiator!)

            From what I can work out, the mats work by having several layers of plastic/fabric, a blue layer between white ones amd when you get it wet the layers stick together and the colour shows through. This of course means all your pictures will be blue, but my sons don't seem to mind. Ours came with just the mat and one pen, but luckily we already had some from a different set, however you can buy more on ebay and amazon etc. Do be careful your child doesn't decide to colour it in with real pens/paint as that may stain, though it can be machine washed at a low temperature.

            I think this is a great invention, my sons play with it for hours and it's easy to use and put away again. I would definitely recommend this as a toy and I can see my sons will get a lot of use out of it. At the moment they seem to have decided that the point of it is to colour in the entire mat so it's all blue (I think because they had the mini Thomas Aquamats before) but they are getting the hang of drawing on it too and it keeps them busy!

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              25.06.2009 12:22
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              a no mess toy that needs little supervision

              Kids love to draw and love to get into a mess too. This toy is so mess free and the child can not even spill the water out of the pens. Confused so was I.

              The pens to this fill with water that have a filter inside that soaks through to the tip and they do not drip. When filling the pen they twist to open the opposite way to what anything else would twist open so the child does not register that this will open differently, which means they can not get the pen open and pour the water out. My son has only just mastered this and he is now 5 and old enough to understand that he is not to open them anyway.

              This toy is a big 1 meter by 1 meter mat that has the alphabet and numbers around the edge for them to be able to go over the top. Above the writing round the edge there are pictures to match the letter eg a for apple. The letters are in capitals and in lower case.

              The middle of the mat is left plain to be able to draw as they wish. It came with two stencils a yellow and a red one that has shapes and animals on them so the child can make pictures easier until they learn to draw a little better. It also came with two pens so that they can either play with a friend or you can join in when you want to have quality time with your child.

              There are no small peices for the child to swallow in this and it doesnt matter if they put the pen in their mouths because it is only water no ink. If they draw on the carpet off the mat there is no mess because it is only water. It is magic to my children.

              The mat when it is drawn on will turn a blue colour in the shape that they have drawn after about 5 to 10 minutes the drawings fade and dissapear so that they can start drawing again.

              This has been good value for money I have owned this for 4 years and has now been used by 2 children of my own and many other children that have been to visit. It cost me £25 from woolworths at the time and would definatly get a new one if this one broke.

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              17.03.2009 14:45
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              When this one gets so dirty I can no longer clean it with a sponge I will definately buy another!

              What is it?

              Tomy Aqua draw deluxe is a children's toy made to encourage drawing and imaginative play. It is a cloth square measuring around 1m by 1m backed with a plastic-like substance (it doesn't feel or sound like a plastic sheet but it is water proof). What makes this mat different to other drawing mats is that you only need to use the water pens provided to make a picture, and once the water dries you can start again.

              What do you get for your money?

              You get one mat, 2 pens and 2 A4 sheets of stencils. It comes in a box measuring about 30cm by 45cm and packs away easily after use. The mat folds very flat and small. The tops of the pens screw off (they screw in the opposite direction than you would imagine), there are signs on the pen to show you which way to turn them. You fill them with ordinary tap water, the nibs are made of a felt like material and wet easily. Although they do not drip, if you flick them they will spray the water out, which my oldest likes to do to make 'splat' pictures. Our mat makes all areas touched with water turn blue and when the children have finished playing I hang it over a chair until it dries, then fold it and put it away.

              This was bought as a Christmas present for my then 1.5 year old and he loves it, as does his 4-year-old brother. It cost around £20, and it seems to have been this price for a long time. You can buy some that have Barbie or Thomas the Tank Engine toys with them but they are more expensive, the toys will follow the water trail on the mat, however a friend had one of these and said the toys have very sensitive sensors and do not work all that well.

              Is it any good?

              My kids have played with this the most out of any toys bought for them this year, possibly ever! My now almost 2 year old loves that he can rub the pens on the carpet and not get told off, and my 4 year old can practice writing his name over and over without wasting a ton of paper so I feel it is a great toy all round.

              Around the edge of the mat is the alphabet in upper and lower case and numbers from 1 to 10, there are also some lovely pictures to go with the alphabet. The alphabet letters are outlined so you can get your older children to fill them in while they practice there writing.

              Both of my boys like to draw and have never got upset that a picture has disappeared after a few minuets, however I could see this being a problem for some children.

              Any downsides?

              The only real problems with this are that my children like to colour their hands with the water from the pens, so the nibs are quite filthy. I keep meaning to contact Tomy to find out if I can purchase more pens separately. The other thing is the mat cannot be washed when it gets dirty, it says you can spot clean it with a sponge but I am not sure how successful it would be with the amount of dirt my kids have got on it!

              Would you recommend it?

              I would definitely recommend this; it keeps my kids entertained for hours. I would say anyone with children under the age of 5 would benefit from this with children old enough to hold a crayon able to use it, possibly older children would find that only 1 colour is boring and they would rather make pictures that they can keep on paper! Although there is a rainbow version of this toy on the market you can't pick which colour shows up where.

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                02.02.2009 12:38
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                Great idea, great toy

                I bought this for my daughter when she was about 18 months old, she was just starting to becom interested in pens but at this age the prospect of actually letting her have felt tips was completely terrifying. The Aquadraw was reccommended to me by a friend who has children and it has proved to be a great alternative and is completely mess free. The Aquadra duluxe includes the mat, two of the pens and 2 stencils. To use the aquadraw, simply fill the pens with water, lay the mat down flat and let the little ones get creative. The water runs into the nips of the pen and then when the water is in contact with the aqaudraw mat, the mat changes colour to blue, thus the little ones wil feel as though they are drawing without creating any lasting damage. When the mat dries it becomes white again making it possible to have endless fun with this great toy.

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                13.01.2009 02:07
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                see in review.

                My daughter received the aquadraw deluxe for her Christmas 08.

                We already had a standard aquadraw so I was curious to see what the deluxe version had to offer. I was pleasantly surprised and delighted to see that it has numbers and letters around the edges that you can colour in with your water pen to make them show up. For each letter it has an image on the frame of the aquadraw and a word. My daughter is nearing 4 and is learning her letters, since we have had the deluxe aquadraw she has really come on, first colouring in the letters and then trying to mimic them below.

                It also comes with two large stencils, easy to hold for little hands. The first one is shape stencils, the second is a mixture of animals and nature. This has suited me down to the ground as my second daughter is 2 and a half and enjoys using the shape stencil, being a lot simpler, and my older daughter enjoys the challenge of the animals/nature stencil. Its quite rare to find something they don't fight over.

                The aquadraw is ingenious in its design, no mess and a clever way of sealing the water pens so its not easy for a child to open themselves. Its pricing i feel is quite reasonable.

                The only downside is that it can sometimes take a while to dry and is prone to getting dirty.

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                20.10.2008 16:46
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                great mat, amuses my kids for hours! and no mess afterwards

                we bought our tomy aqua draw deluxe last christmas for just under £20.
                i bought it as i had seen it being advertised everywhere and thought it looked like a great idea! it has been advertised... as a mess free drawing activitie.
                i bought the mat and with it came, 2 water pens - small pen thet you fill with tap water. and also 2 stensils - one with pictures and the other with shapes.
                My first thought was that it is a great sized mat and glad it came with 2 pens and 2 stensils - as it was for my two daughters! so hopefully no bickering and could be shared nicely!
                They were 20mths and 3 when i bought it and a year on it is still a firm favourite!
                The mat is white and has pictures, the alphabet and numbers around the outsides. drawing can be done in the large clear area and copying/following the shapes and numbers can also be done - this is now great practise for my 4 year old who is learning to write!
                when the water pens draw on the mat it turns blue and the water is absorbed so there is no mess. after 5 minutes or so the mat drys and the child can start again!
                the only thing is that the mat does sometimes get stained, after the drying period it tends to leave a waterstain - some do wash out with soapy water but others dont.
                there are other aquadraw mats you can buy - cinderella, thomas, mini mats, travel mat design.

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                18.10.2008 20:18
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                brilliant

                I bought tomy aquadraw last year for my daughter for a christmas present, and she loved it and played for hours with it.

                When i bought aquadraw the price was £29.99 from argos but you can get it a lot cheeper if you shop around, its aged 18 months onwards.

                The actual contents of the box are:
                play mat
                2 foam tipped pens
                2 stencils one red and one yellow

                The idea is to fill the pens with water, then draw on the mat as you would draw on paper the mat has a double layer, the top where you draw and the bottom which is plastic, as you draw on the mat the water leaves a bright blue colour, you can write or draw or use the stencils provided, and its safe knowing it cant do your carpets and flooring any harm as its water.

                My daughter used it in the garden in summer too as the back is plastic therefor ideal for outside, its really hardwearing, its even played with now as my daughter learns her letters and numbers, its a real help for her.

                This is one of the best purchases ive made for my daughter as she plays and learns at the same time.....bonus!!

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                  25.09.2008 09:42
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                  good clean fun

                  I bought this for my for her birthday and it was a big hit. The aqua draw mat itself is manufactured by tomy and comes with 2 plastic pens that have foam tips.You fill the pens with water and then write,draw or scribble on the mat. The mat has a top layer which is white and when you write on it a blue layer comes through.The mat itself is made from a material which dries out very quickly so there is always a space to use.It measures roughly 90cm x 90cm which I found this is a good manageable size.The mat has the alphabet and numbers all around the edge which again is good as it allows the children to become familiar with the shapes of the letters and numbers. It also comes with a variety of shapes that can be printed on the mat. This mat is great as although it says from 18 months it can really be used by younger babies who can just wet their hands and do hand prints and of course older children enjoy it too.

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                    23.06.2008 10:59
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                    Great clean fun for all

                    Aquadraw is the new revolution in allowing children to draw in the house with the minimum of mess and fuss. As most mothers know, this is practically impossible(crayon marks on the walls, paint stains, well everywhere). This mat and pens allow your child to draw to their heart's content and not make a mess in the process.

                    My son was bought one of these last year for his birthday and has played with it until very recently. The deluxe version is square and has letters, numbers and pictures of objects/animals corresponding to the letters around the edges. It comes with 2 pens which you fill with water and allows your child to draw on the mat and see the drawings in blue appear on it. The mat is plastic backed and does not allow for the liquid to go through so no wet carpet or floor when used. The pencils also only open anti-clockwise to prevent opening by little hands (or big ones as I have got caught out on numerous occassions).

                    It also comes with 2 stencils, which are plastic rectangles with cut out shapes. The red one has a flower, a car, a cat, a boat, a butterfly, a cloud, a sun and a duck. The yellow one concentrates on shapes and has a circle, a moon, a rectangle, a triangle, an oval, a star, a diamond and a heart shape. These allow your child to draw inside the line and make a pattern.


                    The mat itself is the real gem. It has the white area in the middle to draw on but the sides have shapes and colourful drawings. On the first 3 sides, the drawing correspond to a picture of an object or animal from a to z (ie: aeroplane, banana and so on). The last side has numbers (in writting) with corresponding image (ie: one teddy bear, two carrots etc). Just below all the drawings, you have the drawing part and it has the letters below the image in big and small ( A and a) and the actual number on the numbers side (1,2 and so on) This area is great as your child can draw within the outline and learn to write the letter or number as well as having the drawing reference to associate it with.

                    Although there is all this on the sides, the middle part is ample for free drawing and enables your little one's imagination to run wild and is also big enough to have 2 children drawing at one time (or a parent). I love this mat as it ticks all the boxes:

                    it doesn't leave marks, it is educational, enables parent interaction and offers basic learning of letters and numbers whilst they play (did I mention that it doesn't leave marks lol).

                    This is a great play thing where you can include play time with learning time. I have said previously that my son only had this until recently. Well as much as this is fun and easy to clean(supposedly) the mat has become stained and the pens have been pressed on too much so, although you can still use it, my son is not happy with the finish and has given up.

                    The only downfall with these is that it is prone to stain (no matter how I washed it-following guidelines-ie warm soapy water) and the pens can wither away too soon but they can be bought on EBay for a reasonable price. I have, however started to use the old mat as a floor cover for play-doh and other messy activities (due to the plastic back) but only use it this way after it has had its time.

                    His Nana has actually bought him a new one but the rainbow version which give you the choice in drawing(2 small pens), stamping(3 stamps-clouds,rain) and a sort of painting brush( which my son uses to go all over it and it takes ages to dry). Although this new version is much more colourful but not as educational.

                    I have to say that the new one was a disappointment to me (although not my son) but it is all about having clean fun- isn't it?
                    They have now got a variety of aquadraws out(thomas the tank, bob the builder, disney princess, teletubbies, winnie the pooh and the list goes on) but I would recommend the deluxe version to anyone who wants to include learning with play time. My rating of 3 stars is only due to the not so long lasting pens and mat.

                    This version is available new on Amazon for £16.63 and varies in price from £14.99 (value land) to £19.99 (babyworld).

                    My age recommendation for this would be from 18 months to 3 years but it is suitable as long as your child can hold a pen and until they get bored of it.

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                    A wonderful way to get children to develop their imaginations. Toddlers love to scribble and practice their writing skills and they can discover letters, numbers and objects printed on the mat too!