As she lamented There's at least one every weekend! I could only nod along, as my girls were still at the stage where we only attended parties of our close friends. So, when she went on to advise me that the best method of gift-giving was to have a "go-to" present that would be universally loved, I didn't really understand the value in what she was saying.
Fast-forward a few years and it feels like as soon as we have returned home from one birthday party, there is an invitation (or two) to the next. What's a mom to do? How do I know if the girls are all into princesses or dolls and if the boys will all like action figures or cars?
Instead, I love being able to turn to the toys that are universally loved, can grow with the child, and have the ability to provide hours of open-ended creativity, imagination and entertainment. Which is what we have recently discovered in the Magna Color 3D Design Station from Tech 4 Kids.
Giving kids the ability to draw three-dimensional artwork, Magna Color takes coloring to a whole new magical level. Coming complete with special dot dispensing pens, Magic Dots and four stencils to choose from, this Design Station maximizes your child's creative side in a fun and unique way.
When the Magna Color 3D Magnetic Design Station arrived, we were all a little curious as to how it worked and just why Dr. Toy had named it one of her Top 10 Creative Toys for 2012.
Looking over the included tools, I was pleased to find that it didn't take more than a few minutes to become familiar with each piece and get this set up and ready for use.
As I showed the Magna Color to Big Sister E and Little Sister B, it was clear that they were both ready to let the fun begin!
After inserting a stencil into the frame, we began slowly getting used to the dot, dot, dot motion that came along with using the Magic Pen to dispense each colorful dot onto the magnetic surface (the dots themselves are not magnetic, therefore not hazardous if accidentally swallowed).
As the pen releases one dot if pressed lightly or a trail of multiple dots if the pen is run across the page, we found that it did take some practice to find just the right pressure. However, even if the pen happened to dispense two dots when we only were attempting one, that didn't take away from the unique, creativity that went along with this form of coloring!
Whether doing dot-by-dot or in long cascading lines, both girls were amazed at how they were able to create colorful works of art with such a simple motion.
However, things were made even better when they put on the included 3D glasses and suddenly the creative images popped off of the page in real 3D! Magic!
But the fun of the Magna Color doesn't end after the pictures are created and the 3D magic is shown. When it's time to clean up, the convenient Screen Swiper easily pushes the dots from the screen to the top slot to reload back into the pens.
Turning the Magna Color over, the clear plastic allows the user to watch the sorting process as it occurs — something that both of my girls found (and continue to find) simply fascinating.
While the girls have had a little difficulty completing all of the steps on their own, I usually join them to help oversee and fully refill the pens (to prevent any dot spilling mishaps).
No matter how many times we've done it, they still love tilting the Magna Color back and forth and watching in amazement as the dots fall through the holes and sort themselves into each of the different colors!
Captivating for short or long periods of time, my girls have returned to the Magna Color to create 3D artwork time and time again. I appreciate that all of the pieces store together in one transportable case, so it's no problem to take this with us or worry about losing any of the small parts.
Instead, the design possibilities are endless, there is no mess, and the combination of the innovative pens, colorful dots and overall magic of the 3D and sorting system keeps bringing them back for another time participating in this futuristic coloring experience.
Toys 'R Us, Mastermind Toys and Showcase Canada. You can find out much more about Tech 4 Kids and all of their great products on their website as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
(A small quantity of product shipped this past summer included malfunctioning pens. As a company dedicated to high quality product, Tech 4 Kids would like anyone with malfunctioning pens to contact them at at the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org for a set of free replacement pens and dots.)
Other than the Magna Color 3D Design Station I was provided by Tech 4 Kids to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this review in any way. This post is solely my honest opinion of this product.