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Here is yet another review on a toy that my grandchildren love playing with and sometimes I like to have a go too! It is very clever and fantastically designed making it a very practical toy for young children to have. I am pleased we have this as it helps to keep the little ones entertained without any mess!
What is Aquadoodle?
Aquadoodle is a fairly new toy which I hadn't heard of until about a year ago when my daughter first bought one for her toddler. If you have a toddler you may be very well aware that they like to be creative and learn how to draw and paint and what not but that this usually generates lots of mess. The Aquadoodle takes the mess away from this creative time.It is a large plastic sheet which comes with a special pen. You fill the pen with water and when the water makes contact with the sheet it turns the white 'paper' (Sheet) blue so your child is able to draw. Once the water dries then the pictures/scribbles will disappear so your little one can start again and draw more.
Why is it good?
It is a good invention because it takes away the mess. If your child had an actual pen they would be able to cause havoc even if by accident as they manage to draw on the carpet or walls and furniture with it which could stain or lead to you having to spend time cleaning. With this the only mess you could get is the pen being used on your furniture which would just result in it being wet with the water. There is no ink or paint or anything like that which could stain if your child does try to explore drawing on other surfaces. All you need to do once your children have finished with this is to just wait for it to dry and then roll it or fold it up and put it out of the way. There are no stained fingers to clean or carpets to scrub.
The Peppa Pig mat
This is the latest aqua doodle mat that we have. We have another too as we have found when all the grandchildren are round there isn't enough space on one alone for them all to have a good scribble. The mat has big bright pictures of Peppa Pig all around the outside which provide great entertainment for the grandchildren who are excited by seeing a familiar picture. They also try to copy the pictures and draw Peppa Pig and friends on the mat which is great as it's really helping them to concentrate.
The mat comes in a cardboard box and we do keep it in this for practical reasons. When the grandchildren have finished playing with this we fold it up and put it in the box out of the way. When we come to get it out again the creases which we caused by folding it up don't cause a problem, it still lies flat and can still be used just as it would be without the creases.
You can buy extra pens so that more than one child can draw at the same time. We have managed to accumulate 6 now so at any time we could have six children all scribbling on this! I find that once more than two children are drawing though it does become a bit cramped so although this mat is great for drawing with others it isn't ideal for large groups really.
What is great about this is that it's easy to transport so when we went away to stay with friends we took this with us so that the grandchildren could be occupied. It folds up easily and can very quickly be laid out and ready to play with right away (of course you need to remember to fill the pen up!) So although it does take up a lot of floor space when it's out it doesn't take up much space at all once you put it away. It is very light too so easy to put in and out of the car or move.
You can buy aqua doodle toys that are smaller like as place mats and easels which are a good idea if you don't like the idea of a large mat taking up lots of floor space or if you don't want your children lying on the floor to create.
It is a great way to have your children engage in being creative. They can draw allsorts with this. The pen is quite thick, a bit like a marker pen, making it easy for toddlers to hold and control and the nib is quite thick too so that the lines of drawing created are very satisfying. Fine details are not easy to create with this pen but I don't think that that is very necessary for the age range that this kind of toy is aimed at. I think that children from 18 months to about four will enjoy this. I think once they become older they would prefer finer pens so that they can make minor details which the thickness of this nib wouldn't allow for and also I think once they do get to about 4 they are less likely to want to try to draw on a floor! This is a good way to teach children to only draw on the surfaces that you offer them to be creative on. I know that my grandchildren so like to explore what a crayon would look like on the table and if I do turn my head for a moment they can easily do that. With this toy if they do run the pen along the table I can explain to them not to do it and guide them back to the mat with the satisfaction that the pen has only left water on the table and no stains!
It is quite expensive, we paid £25 for it and I don't think it is just because it comes with a recognised character- Peppa Pig- on it as other mats that I have looked at have also been a very similar price. I think actually you do get your money's worth out of it though when you think about how much you may spend on paints, papers and then cleaning products to clean up afterwards! It also saves you time too as you don't need to spend time cleaning or packing things away. So for £25 it may seem like quite a lot of money to spend on just one toy but it really is a very practical one so worth it.
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