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Thomas and friends are train engines who live on the Island of Sodor. They are minded by the Fat Controller and help each other out to perform duties around the Island. Over the years, special Thomas merchandise has been released including traditional trains and tracks, DVDs and various clothes and toys.
An Artist At Work
Drawing and colouring in paper and pictures is an activity that many children adore. It doesn't cost much as paper and pencils/crayons can be picked up cheap and in bulk. Masterpieces can be displayed on fridges and walls and treasured for a long time. Whilst a floor an ok area to sit and prepare the drawings, it is much easier for a child to sit at a table with everything in front of them.
Thomas Colouring Table
The creators of the Thomas and Friends merchandise have produced a colouring table with the famous characters adorning it. The colouring table is aimed at children from age 3-6. It comes flat packed and offers the dimensions of 45x55x6. The colouring table comes packed with everything your budding artist needs including the actual table which is made of strong plastic, 6 jumbo crayons, 6 pens and 10m roll of white paper with the characters and other pictures etched on it. The maximum weight for the table is 30kg.
The relatively flat but long box holding the table would lead you to believe that it it won't be very big. The box is bright with blue backing and Thomas and friends adorning it. The table itself comes in several parts. The table top is blue in keeping with the familiar Thomas colours. There are colourful train designs down 2 sides. A plastic lever is nestled at one end and this can be hoisted up to secure the paper in place. Another lever is placed at the other end and offers 12 slot on the top of it..6 for crayons and 6 for pens. The top of the table also has two indents at this end where the roll of paper secures in and can be fed through the level.
The 4 legs holding the table up are slotted into place. Each leg offers a different design with tracks and either Thomas, Percy, James and Cranky and are bright and colourful. The crayons and chunky and 6 bright colours are available. Each crayon is almost
fully surrounded by the a paper casing with the Thomas characters. This also applies to the pens. The 6 pens offer 6 different colours. The pens have quite long tips and each colour is signified by their matching lid and base.
Price and Availability
The Thomas Colouring Table can be purchased from Asda Direct at a cost of £10.00. It is also available on Amazon for £17.84.
As you know, my son is an avid Thomas fan and owns quite a lot of the merchandise. He also loves to draw and colour in and would much rather do this than go on his trike. He is a very intelligent toddler who already can identify certain colours and images and even draws within the lines most of the time! In November, we were doing our weekly shop in Asda and we noticed a large display of Thomas products. Everything was on offer and we spotted this colouring table reduced from £20.00 to only £10.00. We luckily ran into my Mum at the time who decided to pick on up for Ryan and also one for my nephew. She presented them to the kids on Christmas day and they are much loved by them.
The recommended age didn't concern me as my son is quite able and always supervised. My nephew on the other hand is 4months younger and pens and him don't mix so he only gets to play with the crayons! The table took a matter of 5minutes to put together. The legs popped into place and the roll of paper slotted in quickly and securely. The paper feeds through the slots with very little tugging and secures under the other slot allowing a smooth, crinkle free paper. The slots for the crayons and pens are shaped so that the right type of drawing implement is slotted in and the other won't fit. They hold the crayons and pens to avoid them falling out when the table is moved about.
The roll of paper supplied is 10m and has lasted incredibly well. The drawings of the engines are big and bold with dark and thick outlines. When the paper is positioned correctly, there is usually 5 engines or symbols for Ryan to colour in. We started off Ryan with just the crayons. The colour range was predictable with red, blue green etc but plenty to allow the pictures to be coloured in and not look silly..not that children really mind all that much! Ryan finds the crayons easy to hold and the paper covering allows him to stay clean and wax free. The crayons offer a strong and pointy top which works well from the first colouring and slowly wears down. Despite the thickness of the crayons, 3 of them have broke. Perhaps Ryan is putting too much pressure on the table when colouring but they have snapped right down the middle.
The crayons allow a smooth and clear coloured area on the paper. The paper holds in place no matter how rough Ryan is and he takes great pleasure in making sure Thomas is carefully coloured his trademark blue. The trains are easy to identify on the paper and the coloured stickers running up sides allow Ryan to recognise the familiar faces and which colour they should be. When the crayons appeared to disappear, we introduced Ryan to the felt tip pens and ensure he knew he was to colour in the paper and no where else!
The pens appear of cheap quality and are very squeaky on contact with the paper. The colours are again predicitable but offer choice. On paper, they produce a smooth and consistent colour and any lines that Ryan draws are vibrant and clear..no streaking or patchy areas. The pens are lasting ok in terms of strength of colour but several of them have starting showing signs of wear. The nibs appear to have been pushed further into the tube and this causes a slight dragging across the paper.
Full Of Colour, Time For A Change
There is only so many times that Ryan can colour in the same piece of paper before he gets bored and wants a blank canvas to work on. Whilst alot of his drawings can be kept in books, the masterpieces from his Thomas table need to be torn off and put somewhere. To release the page from the table, the end needs to be gently pulled through both slots which in my opinion, is a 2person job in its one! One a new page is present on the table, the slot can be dropped down and we need to hold it down and tear along the paper. This has produced varying results as sometimes it offers a smooth edge whereas it has badly torn other times and this results in some pages ending up in the bin. Perfect pages are often displayed on our fridge and around Ryans room.
The next page and each other after this offers new characters to
Pictures of Thomas Colouring Table
Thomas Colouring Table
colour in and in different positions. This allows Ryan to create different stories and scenes with his colouring implements and he discusses the characters as he colours. Of course some train pictures will be repeated throughout but in different poses and positions. We see Thomas, Percy and James and also Harold and Gordon. Ryan is able to recognise the characters and when drawing and colouring in with his cousins, they can takes turns and discuss their favourite characters. Mum and Dad also have fun colouring with Ryan as it is ideal family time. He prefers to play alone as he can do his own thing and stands back admiring his work with a smile on his face.
This table doesn't take up much room and fits comfortably in his toy corner in the livingroom. It is reasonably sturdy as we discovered when Ryan climbed up on it one day when I turned my back! Ryan loves colouring in the pictures and there is a bit of variety. Whilst a better selection of colours would have been good, I suppose the colours given reflect the engines actual colours. The crayons and pens could have been of better quality but I will replace these soon with more expensive ones. Ryan has a small plastic box of other pens and crayons underneath the table giving more choice.
The table is easy to wipe down which I needed to do recently. The paper pulls out when Ryan gets rough with it and on one occasion, he pulled it out and couldn't figure out how to get more paper in the slot. Before I had a chance to slot it through for him, he had drawn on the plastic top. Thankfully the table wasn't ruined and a quick wipe over with an anti bacterial or baby wipe returns it to its former glory. The table is at the right height for my son and he has the option of sitting on his plastic chair and drawing or standing up for a better view of what he is doing.
Since Christmas, we have used around 1/4 of the paper judging by how much is left on the roll. When the paper is finished, I will buy a roll on plain, white drawing paper and hopefully it will slot into the table. It would be ideal if they offered a replacement roll of the Thomas paper but my Ryan will be just as happy drawing his own engines with the pens and crayons! The table is of excellent quality and I can see it lasting us well. I wouldn't however have paid £20.00 for it as it is simply not worth that price but at £10.00 it is a bargain and an ideal present for Thomas addicts.
I recommend this table but be prepared to replace the crayons and pens quickly after buying.