Recently we were lucky enough to be sent the Aquabeads Disney Princess Playset and Disney Princess Character Set to review.
If you’ve read one of my older posts about messy play, you’ll know that we aren’t naturally those people who crack out the paints at every opportunity. We are self confessed clean freaks. But having a child has made us face or fears and we no longer shy away from getting a bit messy– or at least not as much. I am still guilty of hovering over Lily saying“oop…oop… careful!”, “wipe your hands, yours hands, YOUR HANDS!!” And Joe just has to vacate the house completely when the glitter comes out. Though he will still somehow find thousands of the little blighters in his beard, in his socks, his tighty whiteys… how do they just get everywhere!?
Anyway, Aquabeads are a fantastic happy compromise: the messy/creative play toy which is amazingly NOT MESSY.
The Disney Princess Playset contains over a thousand beads including some which are a beautiful jewel style. A pretty pink bead palette, bead peeler and water sprayer. It also includes four all time favourite Disney princess designs to create.
The Disney Princess Character Set contains five Disney princess designs, another design table, and another water sprayer.
The idea is you take the beads and put them in to the bead palette. For me this is one of the best things about the toy as you can take it with you out and about. It will be especially useful to take to visit places where there aren’t any toys. It also makes it so much more manageable to keep the beads tidy and organised (we like organised!)
You then take a design, slot it in to the plastic design table and use your fingers to place the different coloured beads in to the correct place to create a picture. The set is recommended for children aged 4+ and I can see why because not only is the idea of putting the correctly coloured beads better for the slightly older (more patient) child, but I can also see younger children thinking the beads look very much like sweeties!
Another thing I love about this is it’s an activity Lily can do on her own. It’s not complicated so she doesn’t need my constant help. Instead it’s something I can set up for her and leave her to get on with. Knowing she can’t get too messy or become frustrated with not being able to do it.
Aquabeads is great in helping children to develop useful skills as well. The use of fingers to pick up and place the beads in a precise manner is excellent for dexterity. This is very important in learning to write and strengthening hands ready for school. It’s also great for concentration skills, and to practise following instructions.
Once the design is complete it just takes a large spitz of the water sprayer to set the picture in place. Leave for ten minutes and then use the bead peeler to remove the design from the tray. Once peeled off leave for a further sixty minutes and it will be fully set.
Lily stuck to the design in one of the pictures and then went a bit crazy in another, but that’s all part of the fun. Older children I imagine will love sticking to the designs precisely. I’m quite tempted to get it out one evening and have a go myself. We loved it.
Have you tried out Aquabeads? If you’re thinking of buying some as a present I would highly recommend it. Any questions you have before buying let me know in the comments below! ps. Does anyone else have the Aquabeads advert jingle in their head now or is it just me? So catchy!
I received these sets for the purposes of this review. However as always all thoughts and opinions are very much my own.