Most helpful positive review
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Messless Drawing Fun
on September 18, 2010
I got this product for my three-year grandson for his birthday. I can actually relax and do household chores without worrying about paint on the carpet, crayon on the walls, markers smeared on the furniture, or pointy pencils poked through the linoleum. If a child decides to use the special pen to write on something inappropriate, it does not matter...it is simply a very small amount of water that comes out. This product won the 2007 Top Toy of the Year Award from Creative Child Magazine, AND the Parents' Choice Gold Award from Parents' Choice Foundation.
The product is recommended for children 2+ years. I even enjoy using it.
It is an alternative to the erasable slates which I also use with my grandchildren and they enjoy.
This product consists of a durable fabric mat 27.56 X 27.56 and a plastic stiff-point, felt pen that you refill as needed with tap water by simply unscrewing it, filling with water, and then screwing it back together. The mat is bordered by cute geometric pictures of animals and common objects such as a tree, plane, rocket ship, kite, sun, umbrella and more. Using squares, triangles, circles, ovals, and rectangles, a child can copy these pictures, as well as drawing his/her own creations. You can also purchase stamps to make patterns, and a paintbrush to make broad strokes separately.
The marker makes a vivid blue mark that is quite pleasing. There is ample space for drawing. After a while, the picture gradually fades as it dries (sort of reminds me of how we used to give the kids a bucket of water and a paintbrush and let them paint on the sides of the house). I find the rate of evaporation just right...not too fast or too slow. You can speed this process up by working in front of a fan if desired.
The product can be used for entertainment, practice of fine-motor skills, and working with your child on shapes, alphabet letters, spelling, games, etc.
The CON to this product is that the images are not permanent should you want to save them (use a digital camera to record them). However, the CON is also the PRO as this mat is reusable over and over again and is very durable. However, because it is only surface washable, be careful about getting anything other than water on it. Using cleaning solutions, or machine washing it can destroy the special surface. (I had trouble getting some cake icing off of ours that stained and left a grease spot).
Maintenance of the product involves hanging it to dry when done. After it is dry you roll it up and fasten with the attached tie ribbons. If you roll it up damp, you will end up with mildew since it is made of fabric. It also has a loop to store the pen.
I purchased my AquaDoodle at WalMart for several dollars less than it is offered here. I think it is priced a little high for what you get, but for the enjoyment factor, it has been worth it and I am planning on purchasing another one for my other grandson. Great product!