Showing posts with label Aquabeads playset. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aquabeads playset. Show all posts

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Aquabeads Minions Playset - Review & Competition

After all the glorious sunshine we have had this summer, the weather was bound to turn eventually and this weekend saw us endure some heavy rain and wind. However, whilst our plans for some outdoor fun may have been placed on hold, we certainly weren't short of some indoor activities to enjoy, starting with our favourite crafty and creative toy....Aquabeads!

Our last Aquabeads review featured the Star Wars Playset, which Riley really enjoyed, but we were recently sent this Despicable Me Minions Playset which features some marvellous Minion characters to create. Riley couldn't wait to get the box open and get started on his designs.

The front of the box is really bright and colourful and features several Minion characters. One thing that stood out to us, was the image of the bead peeler in the centre of the box, as none of the previous sets we have used included one of these. We all agreed that the graphics were displayed well, with plenty of informative detail on the packaging, such as a mini three-step guide as to how Aquabeads stick together with the water spray.

It also stated that it only takes 10 minutes to peel, so we were keen to try this claim out as we often leave our creations to dry for a much longer period.

As always the reverse of the box provides a clear contents list so that you are fully informed as to what you are receiving in the playset. There is also an image on the right hand side of the box which provides pictures of all the different characters and items that you can create with the enclosed beads. The Aquabeads Minions Playset includes:
  • Table Tray
  • Bead palette
  • Sprayer
  • Bead Peeler
  • Template sheets
  • Yellow beads x 220
  • Pink beads x 5
  • Brown beads x 120
  • Blue beads x 151
  • Light blue beads x 20
  • Green beads x 5
  • Black beads x 127
  • Grey beads x 74
  • White beads x 43
  • Brown jewel beads x 5
  • Instructions
The Aquabeads Minion Playset is recommended for children aged 4+, however due to containing small parts, parental supervision is required when being used. There are several clear safety messages on the box and it is important to read these prior to use.

We opened the box and lay all the contents out on the sofa so that we could make sure that we had everything that was needed. Riley really liked that the case was in his favourite colours of blue and yellow, so he was already really happy with the set before we even began.

I cut off the corners of each of the bead packets and Riley arranged them into the case and placed them where he wanted the colours to go. Once everything had been arranged, Riley selected the design that he wanted to attempt first and began to make his creation.

This set also caught his sister's attention and so Emma asked Riley if she could help with one of the designs. Riley was more than happy for them to play together, so Riley followed one template whilst Emma attempted another.

When we first started using Aquabeads a couple of years ago, Riley would often need my help to assist him with placing beads, however he now finds this really easy and found the minion templates simple to follow. He finished his design completely independently and only made one mistake which was the colour of the eyes, opting for two brown beads instead of one brown and one green.

Emma completed the design on template two and it was great to see them playing together nicely throughout the activity.

Once the templates had been completely covered in beads, Riley filled the sprayer with water and began to spray the Minion creations. The sprayer was compact and easy to use and also fitted nicely in the storage case once finished. We left the designs to dry for the recommended 10 minutes and then Riley excitedly used the brand new peeler to remove his Minion from the tray.

The peeler made removing the creations a much easier process. Previously it has been too tricky for Riley to remove them with his fingers, so I have had to take my time to remove them from the tray myself, hopeful that no beads become detached. However, with the peeler, you simply slide this along the roof of the tray and it evenly removes the Aquabeads with ease. It is a great idea and a fabulous addition to this Aquabeads playset. It is great that the company are looking at ways they can improve their product and introducing innovative ideas.

Riley and Emma enjoyed this activity so much, that they continued to use all of the templates in the set, using up nearly all of the beads. I believe that there is a Minion add-on set available, so I will certainly be purchasing this to top up our collection.

The RRP of this set is £19.99 and it can currently be purchased from Amazon* and other good toy retailers. If you are feeling lucky though, then we have a fantastic competition for our readers, to give you the chance to win one of these fantastic Aquabeads Minion Playsets. If you would like to enter then please read the terms and conditions and complete your entry using the gleam form below. Good Luck!

Aquabeads Minion Playset Giveaway!

Terms and Conditions
  • There is 1 (one) prize of an Aquabeads Minions Playset as featured in this review. 
  • Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years or over.
  • Competition closes on the 30th September 2018 at 23:59.
  • A winner shall be drawn within 7 days of the closing date and notified via email.
  • The winner will have 7 days to confirm their acceptance of the prize before an alternative winner is drawn from remaining eligible entries.
  • No bulk or third party entries.
  • Winner's details shall be shared with the promoter for the purpose of prize fulfilment and permission shall be obtained from the winner prior to doing so.
Disclaimer: We were provided with this product complimentary for the purpose of providing an honest review of the item. Opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. *This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon which means that I may receive a small commission should you choose to purchase from this retailer. 

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Star Wars Aquabeads Playset - A Review

Well the weather has been pretty terrible lately and so it is always handy to have some games and activities on standby that can be enjoyed indoors. All of my children love to get crafty and make things, so Aquabeads sets are often a popular choice in my family.

If you haven't heard of Aquabeads before, then they are basically small individual beads that can be arranged into a specific shape or design. Once you have finished your bead arrangement then you simply spray it with water, which then causes the beads to stick together. There is a huge range of different Aquabeads sets available that come with everything you need to get started. Once you already have your kit, then you can also purchase some smaller add on sets to help build your collection. There are many different themed sets too ranging from Star Wars to Sylvanian Families and Finding Dory to Disney Princesses, so you can be sure to find a set that your children will enjoy.

This month we were sent a Star Wars Aquabeads Playset which Riley was very excited about. We have tried some others in the range previously, but Riley was very keen to make his very own Aquabeads Stormtrooper and couldn't wait to get the box open.

As with all the Aquabeads products we have reviewed, the packaging was really eye-catching. We have always found the boxes to be very informative with plenty of images and text to catch your attention. The front of the box was bright and colourful, with numerous clear pictures of what you could make in the set. There are 4 templates inside the box which are Darth Vader, a Stormtrooper, R2-D2 and C-3PO and you can see each of these complete on the exterior of the packaging. I think it is great to provide these images so that you can clearly see exactly what you can make with the beads that are included.

The reverse of the box also provides a clear contents list so you know exactly what you are getting with this item. The Star Wars Aquabeads Playset includes:
  • Layout table
  • Bead palette
  • Sprayer
  • Template sheets
  • Yellow jewel beads x 10
  • Orange jewel beads x 6
  • Red jewel beads x 3
  • Blue jewel beads x 69
  • White polygon beads x 227
  • Black polygon beads x 269
  • Grey polygon beads x 278
  • Yellow polygon beads x 142
  • Orange polygon beads x 69
  • Light blue polygon beads x 8
  • Instructions
The Star Wars Aquabeads Playset is recommended for children aged 4+, however due to containing small parts, parental supervision is required when being used. There are several clear safety messages on the box and it is important to read these prior to use.

We opened the box and began to lay all the items out on the floor. The beads are wrapped in small individual packets for each colour set, which means you can open them and place them wherever you like inside the storage case. Riley absolutely loves organising things, so he really enjoyed opening the packets and setting it up just how he wanted it. Out of all the Aquabeads sets we have had, this particular design of case has been our favourite so far. We both agreed that there was plenty of storage for not only the beads but also the templates. Due to the size of it, it also meant that we could store some of our other templates and beads in the tray.

The fact that you can separate the colours into each individual compartment of the tray, makes it really easy to find the colour you are after when making your design. You can see everything right in front of you all in one place, so Riley finds it simple to now complete the designs on his own. The compartments are just the right size to pick up the beads with your fingers so it isn't too fiddly to get the beads out one by one.

Riley really liked the fact that you could put two templates in the layout table, so he selected both a Stormtrooper and Darth Vader. This would also work really well if siblings would like to play together as two children could do a separate design at the same time.

We set everything up on a blanket on the floor and Riley began to create his Stormtrooper design. He used to take quite a while doing the templates and also used to rely on me for help. However, the last couple of products we have tried he has managed to do them both independently and quickly. I love how quiet he is whilst playing with Aquabeads and it is great to see how much he concentrates in trying to get it just right. Sometimes he also likes to do his own thing as well, so he will follow the template but change the colours instead. He is a big fan of bright and bold colours, so you can guarantee that he will no doubt create a rainbow coloured Darth Vader in the next couple of weeks.

One thing he did find quite tricky with the Stormtrooper design is that once it starts to get quite full, it can be a little hard to make out the grey colours from the black in the template. As you can see in his completed design below, there were a couple of little mistakes where he got them mixed up. Riley was more than happy with his finished item though and I was really proud that despite him finding it a little difficult in some places, he still managed to complete it all by himself and was delighted with the end result.

Riley then sprayed water on the design to hold the beads into place and then we placed it in the kitchen to let it dry. I noticed that they have made a design change to their water sprayer as in our very first review for Aquabeads I remember commenting that the end of the sprayer flew off when I squeezed it a little too hard. There is now an additional top that you screw round the sprayer once filled which holds the bit that popped out previously in place. This now makes the sprayer much easier to use and prevents any little spillages like the one we experienced a year ago.

We usually leave our designs to fully dry for about an hour. They do dry a little quicker than this, but I have found that by leaving it this length of time, it makes it very easy to remove. If we find when removing the design that we have missed a bit and a bead comes loose, it is simply a case of respraying any loose beads and leaving it to dry a little longer.

Overall Riley really enjoyed this Aquabeads set for several reasons. He loved the pack theme as he is currently into Star Wars and regularly dresses up in his Stormtrooper costume. He also thought the palette and layout table were great and I would have to agree. It has definitely been my favourite storage case that we have come across so far. I think that Aquabeads are a fun and creative activity that can be enjoyed by all the family and we look forward to continuing to use their products in the future.

The RRP of this set is £15.99 and it can currently be purchased from Argos. If you are feeling lucky though, then we have a fantastic competition for our readers, to give you the chance to win one of these fantastic Star Wars Aquabeads Sets. If you would like to enter then please read the terms and conditions and complete your entry using the gleam form below. Good Luck!

Win an Aquabeads Star Wars Playset

Terms and Conditions
  • There is 1 (one) prize of a Star Wars Aquabeads Playset as featured in this review. 
  • Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years or over.
  • Competition closes on the 28th April 2018 at 23:59.
  • A winner shall be drawn within 7 days of the closing date and notified via email.
  • The winner will have 7 days to confirm their acceptance of the prize before an alternative winner is drawn from remaining eligible entries.
  • No bulk or third party entries.
Disclaimer: We were provided with this product complimentary for the purpose of providing an honest review of the item. Opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. The link to Argos is not an affiliate link and is provided for information purposes. I will not receive any commission or additional payment should you choose to purchase.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Aquabeads Sylvanian Families Refill Set - Review & Competition

As you have probably seen on the blog, we have been very busy lately having some wonderful experiences and visiting some fantastic attractions. However, on the days that we have been at home, it is always great to have something to do with Riley to keep him busy and entertained. Over the last few months we have had the opportunity to try out some wonderful Aquabeads playsets and it has become one of Riley's favourite activities to do at home. This month we were sent a Sylvanian Families Refill Pack which we could use with our existing Aquabeads tools and so we picked a rainy day, to stay at home and have some Aquabeads fun.

Sylvanian Families isn't a brand that Riley is particularly familiar with, however he loves animals and Aquabeads in general. He was therefore delighted to be able to make some animal faces, a house, flowers, fruit and cakes which are all part of this refill set.

The box and packaging is a nice square compact size and costs around £5 from most good toy retailers. This makes it the ideal price for a gift for any Aquabeads fan! The front of the box shows what animals and designs can be made along with an image of a recognisable Sylvanian Family rabbit character. It also states in the top corner that the product is suitable for children aged 4+.

On the reverse of the box is some basic instructions, along with a contents list. This contents list includes:
  • Over 600 beads consisting of red, orange, yellow, light green, light blue,  pink, white, black, ivory and brown colours.
  • 4 x template sheets
  • 1 x instructions

There is also a small advertisement for the accessories that are available separately, which are a layout tray and a sprayer. You will need these to complete your Aquabeads creations, so if you don't already own them, then these will need to be purchased in addition to the set.

If you have never heard or used of Aquabeads before, then basically they are colourful beads that allow you to make beautiful creations. You simply arrange them on your chosen template in the specially designed layout tray, spray them with water and then the beads magically stick together. The templates can be used over and over again, or if you are feeling really creative then you can make up your own designs!

Inside the box everything was neatly packaged and we opened each of the bead bags and arranged them into one of our existing storage cases. Riley had a look through the templates and chose what he would like to create first. The set has a nice mixture of small, medium and large designs which was great for Riley. This meant he could pick and choose between quick and easy designs as well as others that would take more time and concentration such as the house.

Once we had arranged the beads and chosen our templates, we got to work making our designs. They each took between 5 to 15 minutes to make and once completed we gave them a spray with water to hold the beads into place. Riley was able to do all the designs he chose by himself and so he was very proud of his finished creations. We placed the template board on a slight angle in a warm part of the kitchen and left it for just over an hour.

After an hour had passed we removed it from the board and then left it for a further 20-30 minutes. We have found in the past that leaving it this little bit longer makes it slightly firmer and as Riley likes to play with them once they are dry, it makes good sense for us to do this.

Riley really enjoyed this set and just like all his other Aquabeads creations, he was really happy with the outcome. His favourite from this set was the house and the white rabbit and he has added these to his collection. As there were quite a few beads left over he also asked if he could attempt to make his own rainbow, which I agreed was a great idea!

This set is currently available to purchase on Amazon for only £4.99


We also have a great competition, for the chance to win an Aquabeads Sylvanian Families Refill Pack just like the one featured in this review. If you would like to enter, then please do so, using the gleam form below. Good Luck!

Win an Aquabeads Sylvanian Families Refill Set

Terms & Conditions

There is 1 (one) prize of an Aquabeads Sylvanian Families Refill Pack with an RRP of £4.99. Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years or over. Competition closes 31st August 2017 at 23:59. A winner shall be drawn at random within 7 days of the closing date, who shall be notified via email. The winner will have 7 days to confirm their acceptance of the prize before an alternative winner is chosen. No bulk or third party entries. Parental supervision is recommended when using this product due to small parts.

Disclaimer: We were provided with an Aquabeads Sylvanian Families Refill Set on a complimentary basis, for the purpose of providing an honest review of the product. We also received an additional set to give away to one of our readers as a competition prize. This post also contains an affiliate link to Amazon. This means that I may receive a small commission should you choose to complete a purchase after clicking on the link. 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Aquabeads Toy Story Character Set - A Review

Our blog has featured several Aquabeads products over the last few months, and yet it always comes as a shock to us, as to just how big the range is. We used to regularly see the main Aquabeads kits advertised, but never realised what a collection of add on products Aquabeads actually have, and the wide variation of characters and themes that they cover.

Our last Aquabeads blog post, featured the Animal Friends refill set which we really enjoyed, however this month, we were sent the fabulous Toy Story Character Set to try out, and Riley was delighted when it arrived in the post.

Toy Story is one of Riley's favourite films, and it is also a film that I could watch again and again too. It was therefore lovely to have the opportunity to get down to some creative fun, completing some of our favourite characters from the show.

The Toy Story Character Set box is medium sized, and so it is not too big to store away, but also not too small as to get lost easily. It features the easily identifiable Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and an alien, in both their Disney Pixar form and how they look like when created with Aquabeads. It is nicely designed and very eyecatching.

The rear of the box provides some brief instructions and a full contents list. The contents included are:
  • 3 x Template Sheets
  • Layout tray
  • Sprayer
  • Solid beads including 18 x red, 51 x light blue, 53 x blue, 112 x light green, 41 x brown, 37 x light brown, 31 x yellow, 11 x orange, 45 x light orange, 54 x purple, 99 x white, 26 x grey, 28 x black.
  • Set of instructions

The great thing about this set is that it comes with a layout tray and a sprayer, which is great if one of your others has gone astray, or if you simply want to build on your collection of Aquabeads tools. It also means that you can use this set without the need for any prior purchase either.

The sets which come with trays are really useful for us, as it means that we now have enough trays for all my children to enjoy it at once, and so they can each have a tray and template sheet without having to wait for someone elses design to dry before they can have a go.

Inside the box, everything was neatly packaged and easy to take out and set up. Riley sat at his little table and took a few minutes to decide which character he wanted to create first. He finally decided to make Woody and so we selected the bead colours that we would need, in order to make it easier for him to find the right beads as and when he needed them.

Having created both large and small designs before, we both decided that we prefer to use the larger templates like these ones. This is because they take more time to do, and so the fun lasts longer, It also makes the designs clearer to see, which is a big help for Riley. This therefore made it the ideal set for him, and he made a start on Woody.

We began by arranging the beads and placing them into our main carry case that came with the original Aquabeads set we purchased. The case is great as it means you can easily transport all the beads and your equipment, and you can then also easily top up the colours when you start to get low too.

Once we had all the colours arranged, Riley began to place beads one by one onto the design. He did get a couple of the brown colours mixed up initially as the hat is made up of both light and dark brown, however we noticed this quite quickly and managed to swap them all round before spraying any water on them.

This design took Riley about half an hour with minimal help, and so he was very proud that he had managed to do the majority of the design by himself. We filled up the water sprayer and he ensured that he sprayed all the beads to make sure they stuck together. We then placed the template board at an angle in the kitchen, on top of some paper towel and by the radiator, and left it for just over an hour.

Once it was dry we removed it from the board and left it for a further half an hour. Upon our return Riley was really pleased with the outcome and quickly added it to his Aquabeads collection.

Overall, we really enjoyed this set, and it is definitely one of our favourites. The templates were the perfect size, and it was great that they were characters that Riley recognised. It came with an ample selection of beads, and the inclusion of the layout tray and the sprayer means that you don't need to have any previous Aquabeads products to be able to enjoy this one.

This product has an RRP of £9.99 which is a really reasonable price for such a lovely set. The size and cost of this set also makes it a lovely gift idea, and I know that some of Riley's friends would definitely enjoy this set too.

If you would like to purchase one of these sets, then they are currently available from Amazon and other good retailers.

Disclaimer: This product was provided to us on a complimentary basis for the purpose of providing and honest review of the product. All opinions and photographs are my own. This review also contains an affiliate link, that means I may receive a small commission should you choose to purchase this item after clicking through. These small commissions help me to maintain this site and are gratefully received.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Aquabeads Animal Friends Set - A Review & Competition

This month we have another fantastic Aquabeads product to review for you, in the form of the Aquabeads Animal Friends Set. This is one of the refill sets which you can use alongside your exisiting aquabeads tools and with an RRP of only £4.99 it is well priced within pocket money range too.

The set contains over 600 beads, and allows your child to get creative in making numerous animals of various shapes and sizes. It is important to note that because this is a refill set, it does not include a layout tray or water sprayer, which come in the larger sets or can be bought separately.

The box is of a compact size, with a lovely display on the front of all the animals that you can make. My son Riley who is 4, enjoyed looking at each one and naming them, and asking everybody which animal they would like to make. He was convinced however that the bottom left (as you look at it) was a killer whale. I will admit that I initially thought this too, until realising that there was a big and small animal theme throughout the designs and so I now believe that this is a tadpole, due to it being pictured next to the frog. 

The complete list of animals are:
  • A hen and a chick
  • A large squirrel and small squirrel
  • A large tortoise and a small tortoise
  • A large penguin and a small penguin
  • A large flamingo and a small flamingo
  • A white horse and a slightly smaller brown horse
  • A frog and a tadpole
The rear of the box is less graphic than the front, but shows a small image of the accessories required which are a layout tray and sprayer. These can be bought separately but if you already own one of the larger sets then the chances are you will already have these at home. There is also a list of contents and an image displaying what template sheets are included inside. This is then followed by a safety warning in various different languages.

On opening the box we found 4 template sheets and a large bag which contained nine smaller bags that each had different coloured beads inside along with instructions. The colour choices were plentiful and included red, orange, yellow, light green, light blue, pink, white, black and brown. Three of the template sheets featured 4 animals, and one of them featured only two. I think I would have personally preferred only two animals on each template so that they were slightly larger, as some of the animals such as the chick and tadpole were very small and didn't take very long to make. This is however a personal choice and others may prefer the smaller designs due to them being less time consuming and easier for younger children to complete.

The first design we chose to make were the horses, so we selected the template and slid it into the back of the layout tray. My son began to fill the larger white area first as he prefers to do the main body of the design first and then fill in any gaps. We do have several of the Aquabeads pens that we have acquired from our larger sets, but we all find it easier to use our hands to add the beads for the main parts and then use the pen for the smaller details.

My son kept bumping the layout tray whilst reaching for his beads, which in turn knocked some of the beads out of place. To help prevent this from happening again, we gave the design just one very light spray as he finished each area which helped to hold the beads in place much better whilst he completed the design.

On completion we gave it a good spray and left the designs to dry for a couple of hours whilst we had dinner. I have began to start leaving ours to dry on the kitchen worktop which is near a radiator, and I am not sure if it is a coincidence but I always find the designs much easier to remove from the board when I let them dry here.

The next template we used was the penguin and squirrel designs. We really enjoyed these as they required lots of different colours and so my son needed to concentrate well and focus. This kept him busy for nearly an hour, and he was very proud when he had finished, feeling a sense of accomplishment from completing a harder design. There was only a couple of occasions where he needed my help which were the larger squirrels tail, and applying the noses to each of the squirrels to give the animal a 3D effect. 

My sons favourite was the large squirrel, and mine was the large penguin as I thought the colours looked lovely and stood out well. Riley has decided that we are going to make a family of penguins in all different colours which is a great idea! After we had completed the animal templates we also had some beads left over from the set to add to our collection.

As mentioned previously the RRP of this set is only £4.99 which is a bargain and perfectly priced for a weekend treat. something to do on a rainy day or even a small birthday present for someone.

Overall we have been really pleased with this refill set. Riley found them easy to do without my assistance, where as he often has to ask for help with the larger template design so I think he actually enjoyed this more than some of the other sets as he could be more independent. However on a personal level I prefer it when he needs my help as I actually really enjoy making them too, and in the past I have found it a really nice activity to do together. This is a lovely set to add to any Aquabeads collection and I would definitely recommend it to others.

I also have the fantastic opportunity for one lucky reader to win one of these Aquabeads Animal Friends Sets. Please enter using the gleam form below. Good Luck!

Aquabeads Animal Friends Refill Set

Disclaimer: I provided with this product on a complimentary basis for the purpose of writing an honest and impartial review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Terms & Conditions: Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 or over. Any bulk/third party entries will be disqualified. The winner shall be drawn at random from all eligible entries. The winner shall be notified via email and will have 14 days to confirm that they wish to accept the prize. Should the winner fail to respond, then a new winner shall be selected at random from the remaining entries. The winner's details will be shared with the promoter for the purpose of prize fulfillment, which shall be sent directly from the promoter. Please allow up to 28 days for delivery. There is 1 (one) prize of an Aquabeads Animal Friends Set.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Aquabeads Hello Kitty Jewel Fashion Set - A Review

You may remember that just before Christmas we were given the opportunity to review the fantastic  Finding Dory Aquabeads set. My children had a great time creating their favourite Finding Dory characters and so we were delighted to be given the chance to become part of the Aquabeaders group and review some more products from the Aquabeads product range.

A couple of days ago we received the Aquabeads Hello Kitty Jewel Fashion Set and my children couldn't wait to get making some more creations to add to their collection. The box was a nice square compact size, and featured a nice clear image on the front of the Hello Kitty case that was enclosed within. There were several images of the creations that could be made along with a young girl posing with the case to help give you a clear understanding of the size of the product.

The reverse of the box also had a very clear picture of exactly what was enclosed along with a list of contents which are:
  • Over 600 jewel and solid beads
  • 1 x Hello Kitty bead case
  • 4 x template sheets
  • 1 x layout tray
  • 1 x sprayer
  • 1 x bead pen
  • 1 x instructions
There is also a 3 step picture guide that shows how the product works, as well as some brief written instructions on the right hand side. I really like how Aquabeads add as much information to the packaging as possible to help consumers understand exactly what they are buying and what is included. I believe that this helps buyers to make an informed choice as to whether this would be suitable for their child and if it is something they would enjoy.

Inside the box the beads were all wrapped up in their own individual pouch for each colour. I'm not sure if it is just me, but I always struggle to open small plastic packaging like sauces in cafe's etc, and the beads packaging was no different. We therefore resorted to good old scissors to cut the bags open and pour the beads into the Hello Kitty bead case. There were more of some bead colours than others and we struggled to fit some of the colours in, but just about managed it.

There were two bags of white beads for obvious reasons as this is the most used colour in the Hello Kitty designs and so we kept one bag of white beads unopened in the box for future use, for when the first lot run out.

It had originally been my intention to try out this particular set out with my daughter Emma, however my son Riley was with me when this was delivered and then opened the parcel in my absence whilst I was making a coffee and as such, he claimed reviewing rights over Emma to try it out first. He really enjoyed the Finding Dory set we had tried out previously and so he wanted to be the first in the family to try this set too, but agreed that Emma could help him, and could also then have a go after him. (He's not a bad negotiator for a three year old!).

Once we had unwrapped all the items, we filled the sprayer with water, selected which template we were going to try first and we were good to go. I found that the sprayer with this set was much easier to use than the one we had received with the Finding Dory set with this one being a pump action spray as opposed to a squeezy one.

The set also came with a bead pen, and we found this particularly useful for the tricky bits at the end, or where you only have a couple of beads of a certain colour and it is hard to get them in to place. For the main part of the designs we generally prefer to just use our fingers which is exactly what we did!

I really enjoy doing this activity with Riley, and love watching him select the right colours and make sure that they are in the right place on the board. It helps to improve hand to eye co-ordination, as well as recognising shapes and colours, and so it is great that something which is so fun and creative, is also a fab learning tool too.

After a short while, Riley had finished his Hello Kitty creation, and so he sprayed it all over with the water sprayer and we left it to dry. We had done the activity prior to bedtime as this meant that I could leave it to dry overnight without Riley wanting to check on it every couple of minutes. It also meant that as soon as Riley went to bed, Emma could have a go and complete the apple and cake templates too.

In the morning Riley was very excited to check whether his design was ready. He wanted to try and remove it from the board himself, which he did really well until the very last corner where we ended up losing one of the beads from the bow.

To be honest, I was actually glad this had happened, as I had read that you could reattach beads easily  by simply placing the bead back in the correct area and respraying the water. It therefore provided me with the perfect opportunitity to test this, and so we resprayed the loose bead and left it for an hour.

When we returned an hour later, we were pleased to find that the whole design was perfect and stuck all in one piece, and it now has pride of place on Riley's shelf alongside some of his other creations.

Overall opinion

Aquabeads are one of my favourite creative toys, and I really enjoy helping the kids to make their designs. It is a fun activity, that also requires some level of concentration and so it helps to keep my children focused on what they are doing. I definitely preferred the water sprayer in this set as it was much easier to use for all of us, and there was a nice range of templates that included some small easy ones that were very quick and easy to do, but also some larger more complex Hello Kitty designs.

The case is a lovely pink Hello Kitty shaped design which has a nice appearance and makes an excellent storage box for the beads and pen. This allows you to store the product both neatly and safely.

I have been very impressed with both Aquabeads products that we have reviewed and look forward to completing many more creations with my family in the future.

Disclaimer: This particular product is recommended for children age 4+ however I allowed my 3 year old son to do this under my supervision. (He will also be 4 in less than a week).

I was provided with this product complimentary, in exchange for an honest impartial review. All opinions are my own.

Product contains small parts and as such parental supervision is reommended.