As an Aquabeads blogger I was recently set an Aquabeads kit to review -the Aquabeads 3D Animal Set. This set comes with a special 3D layout tray that allows you to make the 3D animals, as well as over 500 beads in a variety of colours and four template sheets. This is a refill pack, so in order to complete it you will also need a flat Aquabeads tray and a sprayer, and a pen for placing the beads is also helpful.
The set comes with enough beads to make five different animals - a panda, lion, a bird in a nest, tortoise and a ladybird. The ladybird is made entirely using the 3D template so doesn't have a flat template sheet but there is a picture that you can copy. For the other animals, the template sheet is inserted underneath the transparent flat layout tray meaning that you can easily see where the beads need to be placed.
Mia chose to start with the bird in a nest. The patterns are simple to follow and she managed to place the beads with her fingers, although it was a bit fiddly.
When you've finished placing your beads you need to spray them with water and wait a few hours for the individual pieces to dry, then you can use more water to stick the different parts together. We found that you need to use plenty of water to really saturate the beads to make sure that they stick properly.
Because they need to be left to dry for several hours you can only make one animal at a time as the 3D template will be in use. When fully dry we found that the finished product was very sturdy and held its shape well. Some of the beads in the set are jewel beads which make a nice contrast. I thought that this 3D set made a much nicer finished product than a previous set that we have tried out.
The set does contain only just enough beads to make all the animals with a couple in each colour left over, so you need to make sure that you don't drop any! The children were able to make the separate pieces quite easily, although they did struggle with the ladybird as it needs to be assembled entirely in the 3D layout tray, so I made that one (I'm not sure that I got it quite right though as it was quite difficult to follow the picture!). It was also tricky to remove the beads from the 3D template, and I found that you needed to wash it thoroughly between uses to prevent a build up of stickiness. The beads do take quite a while to dry, so it's best if you can to place them in the sun or over a radiator to speed it up a bit. When fully dry the finished animals are very solid and can be played with without breaking.
We had a lot of fun with this set, it was nice that the children could both complete a lot of it on their own and they really loved the animals that they made.
I was sent this product in exchange for a review. Amazon link is affiliate.