Aquabeads – Are they any good?
Once again we let Darlek stay up late. She’s beginning to really love spending quality time with us and her toys while her brother snoozes upstairs. Poor thing is constantly harassed by him at the moment. Sausage loves her to pieces and pesters her to play with him, or he wrecks what she’s doing until she pays him attention. She’s very patient, but I think everyone has their limits. As it is, at the end of the day she positively grins from ear to ear when it’s just her dad, me and her. It is the perfect time for her to play with some of the toys she can’t even touch without World War 3 breaking out during the day. Aquabeads is one such game.
This is what the Aquabead Spray Station looks like when it is all set up!
Looks cute doesn’t it. I particularly love the way it says ‘Snou, Snou!’ on the box cover. I’m presuming it means ‘Spray, Spray!’ (as it squirts a fine mist of water), rather than the plastic flower is sneezing. I dunno though! Maybe the flower on the packet did have a touch of hayfever, it’s anyone’s guess really. All I can say, is that it’s a rough state of affairs when you’re allergic to yourself. Sorry, off on a tangent again there.
Aquabeads are quite an easy concept to get your head around. The different coloured beads drop onto the transparent bobbly surface you slot into place on the centre of the board, in whatever pattern you choose – then with a quick flick of the green leaf on the flower it squirts a mist of water over the beads which sticks them together. It takes a little while (maybe 10 mins or so) for them to become properly stuck, and then you simply lift the bead pattern up from the surface and you have your very own aquabead design that you can use as you wish.
There are three discs with aquabead designs that you can slot under the bobbly surface, these are intended as patterns you can copy. The problem I found was that the patterns simply did not match with the bobbly indents, so it was almost impossible to emulate them. This didn’t seem to put off Darlek though, and she just made up her own flowers, a skunk (yes really!), and leaves.
Aquabeads supply a pen so you can pick up the beads and place them on the board, but I have to say it’s almost as fiddly as just picking them up with your fingers. This does seem to be a quickily acquired skill, and Darlek quickly got the hang of arranging them with or without the pen.
In summary, this is a lovely toy. Simple in design and sturdy. I think it’s very convenient that the base swivels so you can access the bead trays, and then if you move it further round again the base moves to cover the trays and they are securely stored. My only quick ‘Grr…’ is that the beads get absolutely everywhere, they roll about like they have a life of their own! I highly recommend that you do this activity on a tray with edges, or they simply just roll lemming-like over the edge of the table. I do think the suggested designs could have been made to match the bobbly surface too, Darlek was quite disappointed that she couldn’t copy them. It always suprises me when little things like that aren’t picked up at the production stage. Or maybe we we’d set it up wrong, I don’t know!
These retail at approximately £17.99 and if you’re interested you can find them HERE!