I have a ten year old niece and I know the way to her heart…
I know! Enough mini mannequins and material to make the toughest ten year old girl melt!
At the beginning of the Summer holidays I was provided with a Harumika party package for twelve children. The package included two dress forms with stylus per guest, a pack of materials and stickers per guest, a selection of additional materials, creative tips, and one Petite Harumika per guest as a party bag giveaway.
BEST. AUNTY. EVER!
My niece arranged for eleven of her friends to come over and spend a very pleasant hour and a half exploring the world of Harumika. For those not in the know, Harumika is a world of fashion design involving small mannequins and no sewing, no scissors and no glue. Each mannequin has a slot on the back which allows for the end of the fabric or ribbon to be tucked in securely using the stylus provided. It's simple and ingenious.
My niece and I introduced the concept of Harumika to her friends; most already knew about it but there were three girls who'd never come across it before. They all quickly picked up the idea and I challenged them to make a simple dress for the Summer from the available fabrics; lots of collaborative work and discussion later and we had a great selection on the table.
Next I showed the girls some of the tips of using the belts as straps, wrapping the fabric squares diagonally around the mannequin, twisting the fabric and pleating, and they came up with a great range of ball dresses.
I like Harumika for one big reason; it allows girls to continue playing with dolls in a cool way. And in an age when they are supposed to have moved on from dolls at the tender age of around seven, to see ten, eleven and even a thirteen year old still playing with what is essentially a doll, made me smile. Of course my niece and her friends didn't see their activity as that, for children who play with it they are being allowed to explore the world of fashion, able to make decisions and test out what works and what doesn't.
Harumika sets come in a variety of designs and themes, the guests at my niece's party each received (what seemed to be) the Surfer Style Starter Set which comes in at £11.00. I think that's a good price to get a budding fashion designer started, there are various add on sets for fabrics or dress forms, and investing in one or two of them from pocket money is a good idea to further the Harumika play potential.
I was sent the above party package for the purpose of this review, my opinion is honest and unbiased.