Almost to the middle of October this year, I received an email from Miss Karen of Whimsical Articles asking whether I would be interested in reviewing the products in their online store. I was still in the midst of settling down with baby Carolyn (barely half month old then) and hence decided to keep in view for the time being.
A few weeks later, I emailed them again asking whether I can review two of their products which I think our 2 kiddos would be using and enjoying and here is the review for the 1st product.
Description about the sponsor:
"At Whimsical Articles, we also wanted our children to have fun too! And so we lovingly handpicked every item for the kid’s crafts - to help encourage our little ones to develop creatively and have endless hours of fun! From products that one child can do at home; to the products that can be done as a group and not forgetting crafts which can be made during parties. Your child will have loads of fun! These crafts will help your child to create masterpieces and keep as keepsakes for years to come!"
Firstly, my initial impression as I browsed through the products in Whimsical Articles website is their products seem interesting, in fact I have been searching for similar things – art/crafts supplies that we parents can get for our children, something that we can just buy over the Internet and get our kiddos started. No need to crack head to think what crafts to make etc etc.
The reason why I requested to review the Melissa & Doug Wooden Bead Set - Sweet Hearts is so that I can let both my older 2 kiddos try it out. I have similar beads which I bought a year ago (China brand) for our boy but those beads are bigger, made up of alphabets, numbers, animals and shapes. I thought this brand we are reviewing should be very good since it is quite a popular brand and I like that the colors are not too overly girlish or too gender confined. I mean, I can picture myself using the beads to teach our kiddos about shapes, colors as well.
My feedback on the product's packaging: The beads are packed in a handy wooden tray and there is over 120 beads and 5 cords and they come in heart shape theme and lovely pastel colours such as purple, lilac, pink, baby blue, peach and so on. The beads are placed in its respective slots in a transparent plastic compartment layer which I promptly threw away as seriously, being a mother of 3 kiddos now, I really have neither time nor patience to arrange and keep back the beads into their own slots accordingly. I would really appreciate a proper container or cover for the beads but then, again, this is because I threw away the plastic compartment layer.
My feedback on the product: The quality of the beads is very good, unlike the China brand beads that I got for our boy a year ago. The colors are striking and eye catching and there are no jagged edges on the bead, all smooth to the touch which is good for little kiddos' fingers.
The cords are quite thin and both ends are covered with plastic, kinda like shoelace string you know? I was hoping the string would be bigger but then these beads are meant for children 4 years old and above.
My feedback on kiddos using the product: The moment I opened the packaging, I poured all the beads into the wooden tray and told our kiddos to go crazy and make mummy something! Our 4.5 years old boy immediately started hogging all the cute beads and taking them out by batches and put them nearer to him on the table. I took back all his beads and poured them back into the wooden tray and used this opportunity to teach him that he must only take the beads from the wooden tray and to string the beads one at a time and not be greedy.
As for our 2 years old girl, I gently guide her through the process to string the beads. Yes, I know this product is meant for children 4 years old and above, but trust me, I am sitting right next to her and monitoring her as well, so I know the risks associated if this product is being played by younger children. Anyway, I slowly guided our girl to hold one end of the cord, then I get the bigger heart shaped bead and teach her to look out for the holes in the bead, and to slowly string the bead through the cord. She took a few attempts to get it right but the beads she strings did not go through completely so I guessed we need more practises on that.
Summary: Of course at this point in time, it is still too early to expect our girl to be stringing up a bracelet or necklace for me to see and as for our 4.5 years old boy, oh well, being a boy, even when I asked him to make me a necklace, he ended up making me a rattle snake! On the other hand, we do enjoy the time we spent playing with this product!
I definitely see the potential of this product being played with over and over again in future as you can also use it as educational purposes, for example: stringing beads of the shape sizes, or colors or patterns and so on. This definitely could make a great gift option as well :)
You can get this at http://www.whimsicalarticles.com/kids-crafts/melissa-doug-wooden-bead-set-sweet-hearts.html
Whimsical Articles has also offered a special discount for my blog followers. Below are the details of the discount:
Purchase RM180.00 or more and get additional RM15 off on top of the already discounted products.
Customer can use this voucher as many time as possible. Valid from now until 31st December 2013.
Steps to get the discount:
1) Log in / Register as a member at www.whimsicalarticles.com
2) Add in the products to purchase into cart.
3) At Check-out, place in Coupon Code : IFM2013
4) Please check that products total is more than RM180 before code can be used.
I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the product by Whimsical Articles in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.