When my 17 year old niece was a tiny little thing with thick blonde plaits and a penchant for making jelly from the blackberries in the grounds of our apartment block during her monthly weekend stays, I used to spend many an hour making Hama bead creations with her.
Thirteen years later I still have the remnants from our crafting sessions and have recently dragged them out to use with The Boy. However he needs templates to stimulate his imagination and creativity, and fortunately we've recently been sent a couple of Hama bead sets from DKL Toys to try out.
During the past month, these have been the perfect thing to keep The Boy amused and distracted from yet another ear infection combined with tonsillitis. The space mobile was a good starting point, especially as he is very keen on the solar system at the moment and regularly regales us with facts about his favourite planet (Saturn) or how the moon is made of cheese (he's only four after all).
The instructions for the mobile give plans for four planets, the sun, three stars, a rocket, space shuttle, moon buggy and an alien (who we nicknamed Alun). The Boy decided he wanted to create all the planets, and using the two provided pegboards and full-colour templates we exercised our creative perogative.
It was great to see The Boy actually following the plans on the photographs; counting out the correct number of each colour Hama beads and checking the position in relation to other colours (good use of DT skills, positional understanding and relationships). The entire mobile took the best part of a week, completed in fits and spurts depending upon his attention span. However, the best bit about a kit like this is that it can be dipped in and out of very easily.
This set for children aged 5+, has over 2,500 brightly coloured beads; more than enough to complete the mobile. It also includes two pegboards, an iron-on sheet and colour photo-guides. With an RRP of £10.99, this is a good set to nurture creativity and keep little fingers busy. There are a number of places to buy Hama beads, both online and in high-street stores. Craft Merrily is an independent online toy and craft shop which has a wide range of Hama bead sets and resources.
I was sent this product for the purpose of this review, my opinion is honest and unbiased.