Monkey has really embraced crafting over the last year; and certainly over the last 6 months I’ve seen a real difference in his approach. He will sit and patiently work at something rather than the frenzied chaos of the past. I’m not a great one for mess, so when I heard of a craft activity that was basically mess free, I was there like a shot! Let me introduce you to the Aquabeads Jewel Starter set.
Ok, so what’s your first impression? Mine was, uum it’s very pink and very girl orientated. Monkey reacted in exactly the same way – Mummy it’s for girls! No, wait Monkey, trust me, this is for boys too.
I have to say, and comments on my Instagram feed back this up – Aquabeads – you are missing a trick. Boys will love this too. I’m really quite curious as to why this great product, has been targeted to totally exclude boys?
Anyway, I will prove to you all out there that the Aquabeads Jewel Starter set (and therefore the range in general) can be enjoyed by both girls and boys. It is aimed at children aged 4 years and over.
The set comprises over 800 jewel beads in various colours, a bead case (please provide a lid to make storage easier – I’m using cling film!), a layout tray, base tray, 5 template sheets, water sprayer, bead pen and instructions.
Basically, you pick a template, put it in the base tray and place the layout tray over the top. You then use the bead pen to pick beads up and place them in the relevant position. Once all the beads are in place, spray with water with the sprayer (from a distance of 10cms) and then leave to ‘set’ for an hour. After the hour, I found the best thing to do to ensure all beads were bonded properly, was to turn the aquabeads over, spray again and leave for half and hour. Then Monkey’s creations were ready to be admired.
Monkey has loved the Aquabeads Jewel Starter set, he quickly forgot all about the packaging, and realised what good fun he could have. He did struggle a bit with the bead pen and ended up using his fingers (yes he still needs to work on his fine motor skills!). It seemed to me that as long as you didn’t have wet fingers then it’s fine. Wet fingers and the beads will start sticking together.
As Monkey was making the dragonfly and tree we started talking about what he would like to make with the Aquabeads. You really don’t have to stick to the templates. Of course the first thing Monkey wanted to make was a tractor. He started off making a red tractor and then realised he could make a John Deere one instead! He was off!
What can we do with my John Deere tractor Mummy? You may remember we recently made some paper stained glass effect butterfly sun catchers; well that’s what we’ve done with Monkey’s Aquabeads Jewel Starter set creations too.
What else can we make Mummy? Why not make a steam train Monkey? I actual think that Aquabeads are an ideal craft activity for boys. It doesn’t take long to create a little masterpiece and while it’s drying they can be off doing other things. I don’t know about your children, but Monkey has a smaller concentration span for arts and crafts than his girl friends, who seem happy to sit for hours doing the same thing. Make something, make something else later – perfect for Monkey.
I threaded the tractor for him, and we used sticky tack to put the other creations on his bedroom window.
This Aquabeads Jewel Starter set is available from Amazon for £10.99, you can click through my affiliate link below to buy if you’d like. There are lots of other sets available and I can thoroughly recommend. I know a whole host of children, boys and girls who’d love this product. As for us Mums, craft plus no mess equals heaven!
You can keep up to date with all the latest Aquabeads fun on Facebook and Twitter. We both love this product, I really can recommend it.
Now Aquabeads people, the photos of Monkey speak for themselves, he has loved this activity and I’m sure we’ll be making more items over the holidays. Please could we have a set more with boys in mind – vehicles alone would give a whole host of activities, dinosaurs, and so on. I really do think an opportunity is being missed? What do you think?
disclaimer: we were sent this item for the purpose of review
14 thoughts on “Aquabeads Jewel Starter set – a review”
This definitely looks like something my son would enjoy but I definitely wouldn’t have bought it for him just looking at the packaging. It looks like Monkey had great fun and I love your creations!
Monkey loves it – i’m waiting for him to tell me he wants help making a combine harvester next.
Great review. I love these type of beads. Have some hama beads but a little too small for N who just throws them all over the place. But water’s much easier than baking. Could be good presents for all the 4yo birthdays we’ll have in the new year.
Yes I think so, not tried Hama beads but I think these are a much easier idea for kids.
They look nice as a sun catcher! I’m interested to give these a try now, as I mentioned I had bought it for relatives and they never found it worked well but I think we should give it a go ourselves and see it we get on with it better. My boys would probably like to make vehicles the most too
You do need to spray and set on both sides in our experience, but once you’ve done that they are fine.
Now this looks like a good present for my 4 year-old goddaughter. I think she’d really enjoy making light catchers, although they’d be altogether more flowery and pink than the lovely tractors and cars that your little Mr. Monkey has created. Very good pressie idea to add to the file. Thank! Bonny
I bet she would, you can make little boxes and things too – very much more girlie
We’ve been reviewing these, too, and I think they’re great! I totally agree about the very girly marketing, which is fine with Boo, but a trick missed, I think! And yes, we need a bead tray lid!
It’s a silly thing not to have included isn’t it.
We have loved Hama beads which are very similar, and I know my son has enjoyed making all sorts of Minecraft designs with them. These look like they would also be great for creating the pixelated type of Minecraft picture, and I think they are missing a marketing opportunity to boys!
Oh yes, Minecraft – I can see that working – you can make them into 3D designs – not tried that yet.
My son love this set. He didn’t bother at the box. He love how he can free style it.
Yes, great for the imagination.