Review: Crayola Games – 3, 2, 1 Draw!

Squiggle loves getting creative, so we were delighted to be given the opportunity to review one of Crayola’s exciting new games. We were sent 3, 2, 1 Draw! which is a fun versatile game that can played in several ways. It retails at £9.99 rrp and is for 2-8 players, ages 6+ years.

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This game is part of the Crayola Games collection, which consists of three fast-paced games to test your creative skills. Like 3 2 1 Draw, Scribble Scramble is also aimed at ages 6+ and focuses on drawing, whilst Doodle Delirium is for children aged 8+ and includes both drawing and modelling challenges. All of them sound like hilarious family fun, just the sort of thing that would be great for Christmas gatherings, or at any other time of year!

3, 2, 1 Draw has an almost retro feel to it, reminiscent of etch-a-sketch style toys, but yet has it’s own unique style in that it has been made into a funky game. It comes with a wipe-clean screen, pen, sand timer, eraser and three dice. The timer fits neatly onto the end of the pen, which can be abit hard to see while you’re drawing with it, but it does mean less to juggle if you are playing on the move! And of course it can be removed from the pen if you’d rather put it down elsewhere like we did. Either way it’s a nice feature that gives you the option. The dice and eraser are stored in a little flip lid compartment at the top, which is really handy.

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There are various ways to play, based on the level of difficulty and length of game. In all versions, the aim of the game is to guess the drawing before the little sand timer runs out. You then just rub away the picture with the eraser and play again! The only thing I noticed is that the pen doesn’t wipe off with the eraser as easily as I would have thought. However, a damp tissue or cloth seemed to remedy that.

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Draw before the timer runs out, wipe away, play again!

The simple version allows the freedom to draw anything at all, whilst the rest of the team (or the other person, if playing as a two player game) tries to guess what it is before the sand timer runs out. Or roll the dice for a silly challenge to make the game harder, such as drawing with your eyes closed; which proved much harder than I thought, my doodle looked very abstract and impossible to guess!

You can also make the game even more difficult by rolling the category dice, or use the third dice to determine what letter the drawing should start with. Squiggle personally found the topic dice harder than the letter one because she doesn’t really watch TV. But this was no issue, we just didn’t really bother using that one, and chose to play with one of the other two instead. Still plenty of fun to be had!

Whilst it states on the box 2-8 players, it could also be played by an individual too. If playing alone, just race against the sand timer to finish your drawing before the time runs out! Squiggle likes using it just to doodle before the timer runs out.

The game definitely made us laugh and it turns out that Squiggle’s creative drawing skills are so much better than mine! (Not that I doubted that for a moment anyway!) I also particularly love how portable and compact it is, meaning it can be played on the go, as well as at home. It would be good for car or plane journeys, which is extremely useful; we all know how much more peaceful a journey can be when there are things to do! It’s a fun little game if you fancy something creative that doesn’t take too long.

More information about all of the games can be found on the Crayola site.

Disclaimer: I received this game free for the purpose of review, all opinions are my own.

Review: Snap Circuits (STEM Educational Toy)

Squiggle received a Snap Circuits set for her 8th Birthday back in May from a kind family member. There are lots of different kits available, but the particular one she has is this one…

Snap circuits are designed for children aged 8 plus and are a great educational resource to help to teach STEM science. The lights set comes with 55 parts to do over 175 different projects. There is also a detailed instruction booklet that has clear diagrams and useful explanations.

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Squiggle and I really like this set. Some of the projects are quite similar but there is enough variation to keep her interested. We have used it together quite a few times since she got it and there are still plenty more projects left to do. Depending on how much discussion there is over it, how long it takes to read and follow the instructions, and how many times it is used, each project could last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours!

Whilst we have always chosen to do this activity together, it is probably suitable for most children to do independently. Some children may find the instructions difficult for some of the more complex projects, depending on age and ability, but the instructions are very child friendly with clear visual diagrams. The parts have codes on that match the pictures so this is also very helpful. Occasionally some parts can be a tiny bit tricky to snap into place at first, mainly if a child has any fine motor difficulties. But the design makes it as easy for children to do by themselves as possible, and the parts are very sturdy and well made.

Overall, it is a really good quality product with great educational value. It feels to us like a good investment and it certainly made a lovely present! We would recommend.

I also noticed that there is an eco set now available too. I have not used this one so am not able to comment but I would certainly love to add it to Squiggle’s collection! Green living is a keen interest in our family so this would be a great way to teach about alternative, clean energy sources.

If you are looking for an alternative to Snap Circuits for any reason, Cambridge Brainbox Electronics is another similar kit that I have heard other home educators recommend, but we have not tried it personally. There is a car and boat themed set for transport enthusiasts aged 8 plus…

There is also a set for older children too, Cambridge Brainbox Explorer 2. This kit is aimed for children aged 11 plus.

What other educational STEM resources have you found? We would love to hear from you!

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