Welcome to another Back to Preschool Giveaway Blast Sponsor Spotlight in anticipation of the giveaway which starts on August 1st.
(If you would like more information on this event click here.)
Now, onto the review:
Now, onto the review:
"Located in Halifax Nova Scotia, The Orb Factory Limited is a provider of award winning crafts & activity products. We enter 2012, our 21st year in business, with brand new lines and exciting new products. We are now sold in over 50 countries, have won numerous awards and have become a recognized and trusted name in the toy industry.
Our kits are easy to use, mess-free, and give amazing results every time. Our best selling line, Sticky Mosaics®, allow kids to peel & stick foam and jewel tiles to create mosaic masterpieces that are ready for display. My First Sticky Mosaics® brings crafting to children 3+ with Big Pieces for Little Fingers®. Curiosity Kits® explores unique play concepts and fresh ideas. Our toys are both imaginative and educational and have been used as learning tools in classrooms around the world. "
I found it quite intriguing that the founder of The Orb Factory was designing toys at the age of 6 years old. It is important to me that they focus on, "a fun and rewarding play experience for kids, and the best customer service in the industry. " In addition, they have received quite a few awards.
I was thrilled when I was offered the chance to review their Magnetic Mosaics My First Picture Maker
I love the idea of their Sticky Mosaics, but I thought it would be fun to have a product where we could reuse and reuse and reuse.
The My First Picture Maker came neatly packaged in a cute little cardboard case. I love that it even has a carrying handle:
The red triangle above is the holder for the 12 inch square playing surface.
The 5/8 inch magnetic tiles come in sheets of 30 and there are 10 different colors.
The girls (as typical girls) love that they are sparkly:
Mommy spent some time taking the tiles apart. Some of the tiles were harder to get apart than others. Some would easily pull apart, some had to be separated using a "tearing" motion (one hand goes back while the other pulls forward), this was especially true of the black tiles for some reason.
That's a lot of tiles, 300 to be exact.
The girls were so excited to start:
There are 10 reusable double-sided templates for 20 different pictures. The girls would either be matching the colored tiles to letters, numbers or shapes.
The key is located in a corner of the template.
Girls hard at "work."
For the life of me I couldn't figure out what this picture was going to be until we were almost done. It doesn't help that Tabitha kept insisting it was going to be an elephant. It think that is a huge part of the fun, seeing the picture become clearer as you add the colors.
By the way, it wasn't an elephant.
The girls enjoyed creating this great work of art. Though there are a couple of things that frustrated them. Sometimes, because they were putting the tiles on randomly, they would knock off tiles they had already placed. This could easily be rectified by starting at the top and working your way down. Or...I had asked the girls if they would like to try just laying the playing surface on the table to try another picture.
It seems like it will work, but they weren't too interested in doing another picture right away. We'll try again another time. I can understand that it would be frustrating to have the tiles fall off if it happened a lot. I'm wondering, for that reason, if they might prefer the sticky mosaics. We'll have to make that something to try in the future.
Another thing that frustrated Amelia was that she was trying to get the square tile to fit exactly in the square on the template. Can you say OCD? I had to reassure her that it was okay for the tiles to be slightly askew. She does get frustrated easily, so you might want to keep that in mind if your child is the same way.
When I asked the girls if they enjoyed this product I was a little disappointed to hear that they weren't that fond of it as I loved it and was having a blast. Then they clarified and said it had taken a long time. I hadn't thought about that fact when choosing the template for them. I guess I had picked one that has almost the entire surface covered. So, for younger children (or at least for the first couple of times using this) perhaps it would be better to start out with the templates for the dragonfly or the seahorses or even the fish bowl as those have less tiles to match up. You can see all the templates that are included by visiting the site.
Another thing I had thought of was maybe the girls thought they HAD to finish it right away. So, I think next time we will also set it up on the school table and let them do a little at a time, let them take breaks when they feel they need it.
Besides the Magnetic Mosaics, The Orb Factory also offers the above mentioned Sticky Mosaics, plus Curiosity Kits, Plush Craft, Sparkle Ups, StoryCraft, and Stick 'n Style.
The My First Picture Maker definitely was a great art project, and will be included in our homeschool. I love that they learn to use a key to match up letters, shapes or numbers. This is also a great way to work on fine motor skills. Highly recommended
Are you ready for some exciting news?
The Orb Factory has agreed to give one lucky winner in the Back to Preschool Giveaway Blast their own Magnetic Mosaics My First Picture Maker. It will be a part of the Grand Prize Pack which is now worth over $300. Not only that, they are offering Magnetic Mosaics Metal Jr. to be included in the 2nd Place Prize Pack.
How would you like some extra entries into this giveaway before it even starts?
- Head on over to the The Orb Factory website and check out the templates for My First Picture Maker. Tell me which pictures you and your children would be most excited to create. Leave the answer here in the comments with your email and when the giveaway is live I will email you the secret code to place in the Rafflecopter for a bonus 10 points.
- Also, if you would like to spread the word about this event and place the button on your blog sidebar I will give you an additional 10 points. Again, please come back and comment.
Either way, don't forget to stop back between August 1st and 18th to enter the giveaway.