Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Great Tool in Teaching Toddlers Writing and Drawing Skills

I was in the department store almost two weeks ago scouting for a bike for my 19 month old son. Since I was in the toy section anyway, I checked out some of the toys and educational materials being sold. That’s when I chanced upon this product. It’s called Aqua Doodle. It’s composed of a mat and a pen. It’s called Aqua Doodle because you put water inside the pen so you can draw or write on the mat. The water serves as the “ink.”

My son enjoying his writing toy.

I liked it a lot because it solved our problem on how to teach our son writing and drawing skills safely. We didn’t like him to use pencils or ball pens or other markers because they either have ink or lead. They also have pointed ends which make us nervous every time our son uses them. And since he has not mastered controlling the pen or pencil, he sometimes ends up writing beyond the paper thus putting markings on the table as well. He also accidentally writes on his shirt sometimes.

That’s why I think this product is great. First and foremost, it’s safe to use. The tip of the pen is very safe because it only gets wet with water. The pen is safe even if the child decides to put it in his mouth. Only water is in it anyway. It’s non toxic. Moreover, parents need not be afraid that the child would doodle on other surfaces since the pen will only write on the mat. The tip is also not sharp unlike that of a pencil.
Second, it’s environment-friendly. We don’t need to use paper. Once the markings on the mat get dry, the doodle gets erased. So it’s reusable. You can draw and write on it as many times as you want. It’s also washable so no need to worry if it gets dirty.

Third, even kids who are not yet interested in using pens can enjoy the mat. Toddlers can use their wet hands and feet and stamp them on the mat. But for toddlers like our son who likes using a pen, this is very good. The Aqua Doodle pen is easy to grasp since it’s thicker in diameter compared to regular pencils and ball pens.

The mat is recommended for kids at least 18 months old. But even older children can use it because there are letters of the alphabet around it that the children can trace to practice writing. There are also images or pictures of objects corresponding to the letters. It’s really a great learning tool!

On top of those things, the mat is foldable since it’s made of fabric. It’s easy to pack or bring with you anytime. It’s not bulky unlike other boards or tablets where you can also erase the child’s doodle. I think the price is also reasonable. It’s less than a thousand pesos. It’s even cheaper than other products similar to it. I would say that it’s a good investment.

I highly recommend this product to other parents out there who have toddlers. My son and I have been using Aqua Doodle since I purchased it and we enjoy a lot of bonding moments drawing and practicing how to write minus a lot of worries.

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