We were recently sent the Beados Quick Dry Design Studio from Flair to review. It is a fun way to make beaded pictures using only the magic of water and the design studio is a starter set.
Included in the box is:-
* 500 x Beads
* 1 x Quick Dry Design Studio
* 1 x Tweezer pen
* 2 x Design trays
* 1 x Water sprayer
* 6 x Design templates
* 2 x Suction cups
* 1 x Display stand
* 1 x Connector bead
* 1 x Bead storage tray
* 1 x Instructions booklet
I thought this would be right up Meg’s street as we have had similar products in the past which she has enjoyed. It is aimed at children aged 4+ although Eli was equally as keen to have a go.
There are three double-sided design templates and you slide these under the design trays to assist with the creation of your picture. The trays are semi-transparent so you can easily see the picture underneath. Meg used the tweezer pen provided to place the coloured bead over the relevant place on the tray.
Eli couldn’t get to grips with the tweezer pen at all and I have to admit that I found it to be quite fiddly and preferred to use my fingers. Although he is a year younger than the recommended age, he grasped the concept very easily and only struggled with keeping the beads on his tray – they are very quick to move!
Once you have completed the picture, you use the water sprayer to spritz a light layer of water over the beads, and then place them underneath the drying unit for 15 minutes. NB: The unit requires 2 x AA batteries which are not included.
I could see that Meg was really dubious about how a bit of water would stick her beads together and she sat the whole 15 minutes just watching the fan and the picture, waiting to see what would happen. I loved how amazed she was when I slid the completed picture off the tray for her.
Once your designs are complete, you can use the stands or the suction cups to display them.
It does mention in the instruction booklet that the bead pictures work better if you spray them on both sides and leave them to set properly overnight and I would recommend doing this. Because the kids were so keen to see their creations, we only set one side and Eli had broken his within a few minutes by being too rough. I think they might have fared better given more chance to set.
Both Meg and Eli really enjoyed making their creations and Meg in particular was keen to use up the beads and design her own.
My only criticism of the set is that it doesn’t come with any permanent storage solution so if you don’t use all the beads up, you need to have an alternative place to put them afterwards as they come in small plastic bags in the box and they are very small so it’s not ideal to leave them in the tray provided in case they get knocked over. Good luck if that happens! You can buy a starter pack for £9.99 which includes some storage pods and these are designed to sit in the spaces on the drying unit but I think it would have been nice for these to be included in this set, otherwise you are looking at an outlay of nearly £30 just to have a way of drying the beads, and then storing them afterwards.
Overall though we would give this product the thumbs up. It is a great way of allowing children to be creative, the colours are bright and enticing and Meg in particular has enjoyed the opportunity to come up with her own designs using the beads.
Disclaimer: We were sent the Beados set for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.