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Last Christmas, as a little nic nak, my husband and I got our daughter a travel Aquadoodle board that she can keep in the car. Aquadoodle is a way of drawing using pens that are filled only with water so there is no fear of stains or mess from colouring pens or pencils. My daughter loved this a lot, so when I saw a friend bringing out little aquadoodle mini mats from her handbag for her son to colour when we were out for a snack together, I thought these would be ideal for my handbag and keep the other board for the car alone. My friend produced chugginton mats from this range, which I knew my daughter probably wouldn't be fussed on, so I looked around and the best I could get that would interest her at the time was this Timmy TIme aquadoodle mats. I wouldn't say my daughter is a major fan of Timmy Time as a programme but she will watch it from time to time. These mats cost me around £4 at the time from amazon.
A pack contains 4 mats and is suitable for children from 18 months, which I would say is a fair age recommendation, and that was the age at which my daughter was given this by us. There is also an aquadoodle pen that comes with these mats, however I already had a couple, as we had had to buy a pack of spare pens for my daughter, as when she was initially given the board at CHristmas time, she put the nib of the pen in her mouth a lot, and eventually it seemed to stop working, but anyhow it was very useful having a pen given with these mats. In regards to the pens, it is literally a matter of filling them up with water and I like the fact that to unscrew the nib to fill the pen with water you actually have to turn it counter clockwise, so it would be unlikely a young child to manage to open it themselves.
These mats contain four different scenes from Timmy Time - now I cannot name the characters apart from Timmy the sheep, however, each of the scenes has the main character in it. You can see the scene mostly even when it hasn't been coloured, so it maybe isn't quite a surprise when it does get coloured in by a child.
I find that this colouring is good for my daughter's coordination as she has to hold the pen in a better position to be able to colour in specific things in the picture and try to improve her fine motor control rather than just lift the pen and scribble. I can see a big difference from when she got these mats to now in terms of her coordination and ability to colour in certain parts of the picture that she wants to see. The other big advantage of these mats is that once the picture has been coloured it starts to gradually fade, so within about five minutes, it can be coloured in again, and I find by the time my daughter has got to the fourth mat, the first one is just about faded, although by this stage she has sometimes had enough.
If I had a complaint it would be that I don't think the colours are particularly wonderful when the picture is coloured in. The picture is a little dull and I do find that after months of use, these pens don't seem to work as well, and my daughter no longer puts the nib in her mouth.
All in all, these mats, especially for the price, are a great item to have in the car, when you are out in a cafe etc or simply to have in your bag to whip out to keep your little one amused, and I find it works well, not for half and hour, but for ten or fifteen minutes, it keeps my daughter entertained and as I said earlier I think it aids with her fine motor control as well.
Aquadoodle Mini Mats Timmy Time contains 4 Aquadoodle Mini Mats and an Aquadoodle Pen for little ones to colour in. Simply fill the pen with water and children can colour in scenes with their favourite characters. No mess and no fuss and it's impossible to go out of the lines ideal for very young children taking their first creative steps. Scenes magically fade allowing little ones to colour over and over again. Features - No mess, no fuss - Impossible to go out of the lines - Scenes magically fade allowing little ones to colour over and over again - Suitable from 18 Months