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My 5 year old daughter received this for her birthday, and has been slowly working her way through it ever since. These Sequin Art kits come in a variety of different designs, but the one my daughter received was a picture of a puppy.
In the kit you get a brightly coloured picture (about A4 size), a polystyrene block (just a bit bigger than the picture and about 2cm thick), all the sequins you require and rather a lot of pins, for fixing the sequins to the picture. The idea is that you secure the picture onto the polystyrene block using some of the pins provided, and then you can begin fixing your sequins to the picture using the pins to create your masterpiece.
Itís very straightforward because the picture is actually made up of lots of different coloured little circles so you know exactly where to position your sequins and which colour to use. The set is recommended for children aged 6 and above and I would say that is about right, because it is quite fiddly trying to get a pin through the tiny hole in the centre of the sequin. And although my 5 year old is quite capable, she does struggle sometimes with the pins and sometimes pushes them into the polystyrene at an angle instead of straight down, which can then cause problems when you are positioning the adjacent sequins. She can also only manage about 5 or 6 sequins before her finger tips start to hurt! Itís a nice activity for a parent and child to do together so that the child does not get sore fingers, i.e. the adult does all the hard work while the child watches! Having pushed a few pins and sequins in myself I can confirm that it is very easy to do, but I suppose a childís small hands will feel the pressure a lot more than my old haggard hands would.
My daughter is enjoying doing the sequin art, but as I said earlier she can only manage a few sequins at a time so it is a very slow process, but she is really looking forward to the end result. The one thing that concerns me is that once the picture is completed there are going to be a hell of a lot of pins stuck in close proximity to each other in a polystyrene block, I just hope it doesnít disintegrate under all the pressure!
I think itís a novel idea, and from what she has created so far, the final effect is going to be pretty dazzling; when she finally completes it. I suppose the good thing about it is that itís not something that is over within half an hour, it is something which she can get out every so often when she is bored and it will fill 5 or 10 minutes of spare time (until her finger starts hurting!)
The one problem I have found with this set is that it doesnít come with anything to store the sequins in, they come in little bags and once you have opened them you really need to find something to keep them safe. Luckily we had a plastic container available with several different compartments so we were able to store the sequins safely and keep the colours separate. Unfortunately my clumsy 3 year old managed to kick this over and empty the entire contents onto my living room carpet, and I then spent over an hour picking them all up and separating them into colours!
Overall I would recommend this set, and other Sequin Art sets, I would definitely say 6 and upwards is the right age, mainly because of the intricateness of what is required to create the picture. A child younger than this would more than likely get bored, have sore fingers and possibly tip the sequins all over your floor!
The Puppy version is available on Amazon for £11.99 (Feb 2012).