Product Type: Science Museum Novelty Toy
Newest Review: ... will be displayed on a shelf in my sons room until he is bored of it. I went for the Science Museum one as I found it reasonably priced... more
Science Museum Pin Art
Member Name: broxi3781
Science Museum Pin Art
Advantages: Hours of fun, unlikely to break.
Disadvantages: None that I can think of.
My husband really wanted to get these for the boys for Christmas, but we ended up getting so many other things that they were left off the list. He kept suggesting it so often though, it was obvious he wanted to play with them so I agreed. After all, they did get the trains I wanted to play with :) Funny enough though, when reading the box, these are marketed not as a child's toy but under "gifts for men - retro toys".
So what exactly is this toy? It is just a simple plastic frame with pins poking through it. A sheet of clear plastic sits across the front and makes a steady enough base to stand this up carefully. You can press your hand, face, or nearly anything else into this and get a nice 3-d representation of it. I must say though I found the mold of my face looked rather like a monkey. Also it is only about 5" x 7" so you can not get your whole face in. It's a really simple toy but children often love simple toys. My husband had great fun playing with these for awhile before going back to his favourite toy PS3.
My sons (ages 2 and 5) have really had a lot of fun with this though. They primarily use it to make shapes of their Hotwheels cars, but it has been used for all sorts of small toys. Sometimes one person makes a shape and the others have to guess what it is. The youngest just likes rattling it back and forth and poking at the pins sometimes too. Both children seem to enjoy just feeling the texture of this, and will have fun running magnet in front of the clear plastic to make the pins leap forward.
This toy is made by Science Museum and supports the Science Museum in London. Sales of products like these allow the museum to operate on a no fee for admission basis. I only wish we could travel to London and visit it! Unlike most of their toys though, this does not come with a paper telling you some educational benefit to using the toy. In fact I do not believe they are especially educational, but the boys have had hours of fun playing with them, and I am really glad we bought them.
We have however found one educational use for this. My oldest is 5 and mirror writing and reading is common at his age. Still, I had trouble with both up until about 10 or 11 even though I read fluently from a very young age. I just figured out whether I was looking at a b or d by the word and context. I was also unable to tell right from left until much older than usual, well into my teens before I could tell you without stopping to think about it, and many a coach would be shouting at me "Your other left" etc... So while it is nothing to worry about at my sons age, no harm in working on it anyway. So I use this to make the letters that get mixed up easily and let him trace and feel them, guess which ones they are and make his own. This does seem to be helping some. Of course the youngest has to do whatever his brother does, so I make letters for him to feel and read too. I do think the tactile nature of this helps a young child to learn letters, as many children will learn better when they can touch and feel as well as see and hear.
These were about £10 on Amazon, but are currently unavailable. My husband bought these for £10.20 each at Argos which I found a bit dear, but considering how much use we have had from them is fair enough, but I would rather have bought them from ebay for £7.99 with free postage but he wanted to buy them then and there. Do watch the sizes though if ordering online as I once saw some about half this size which would be useless I think.
Summary: A fun retro toy that children and adults may enjoy.
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