The Magna Color 3D activity kit allows kids to use special pens that release dots onto either a blank magnetic surface or a template. After designing with the dots, kids put on 3 D glasses to watch their designs pop off the page. This toy is recommended for kids ages 4 and up.
Included in the kit:
-Magnetic surface that pops open to hold templates
-4 pens that store on the back of the magnetic surface and hold the dots (red, yellow, orange, green)
-Packages of dots (red, yellow, orange, green)
-Various double-sided ocean themed templates
The moment I began using this with children, every single one of them reported having seen the product on television and couldn't wait to try it out. Many times I heard, "I've been begging my mother for this toy."
The concept is simple. Once the pens are filled with the dots, the child uses the pen to push down on the black magnetic surface or template overlay to create various designs. Dots can be stacked on top of each other, as well as released from the pen in a cascading line, which is a lot of fun. After kids finish their design, the put on 3D glasses and watch the design pop off the page.
To me, aside from having a lot of open-ended creative fun, the innovation behind this product is the way the dots are sorted and stored. Using the swiper, all of the dots are pushed back into the Magna Color frame. Once all the dots are under the top of the frame, the child turns the toy around and gently shakes it side to side while they watch the dots sort by color. The pens are inserted into special places on the back of the toy as well. Little doors are slid open and once the device is shook gently back and forth from side to side again, all of the dots will refill the pens.
The dots themselves are not magnetic, it is the surface that they attach to that is. So even though this toy is not recommended for use with children under the age of 3 due to the size of the dots, the dots themselves do not pose a health risk if ingested accidentally. They are small and easy to lose, so definitely monitor the play area and surrounding floor when cleaning up for any that fell off the table.
All of the kids enjoyed using this toy and request it from week to week. It can take be temperamental at times refilling the pens (red for some reason is the hardest to refill), and many times when kids want to place only 1 dot on the surface, the pens release more than 1. Despite the age range of 4 and up, it is quite a popular toy with the school aged kids, there have been been middle school aged boys that generally love to draw and create that have been fascinated by this concept.