Reviewed by Louise Totton
Craft kits are always a great way to spend the afternoon – any practical activity is always a winner, but having something that you have made and can be proud of at the end of the process makes it even more appealing for both the kids and the parents. My two are both particularly into collecting things at the moment too – one collects keyrings and toilet roll tubes (don’t ask – I stopped ages ago!), and the other collects fridge magnets and rubbers.
A product that combines making something with making something useful or that they collect was always likely to be a winner with them, so when the opportunity to review Pretty Pixels Eraser Maker was presented to us, they were very keen to help out! We were sent the Deluxe kit to try out, which contains enough parts to make around 16 erasers – plenty for the kids to share!
The box opens up and the plastic insert slide out. Initially I thought that the size of this tray was overkill because it was half empty, but once I started reading the instructions and looking at the kit, it became clear that this is because the plastic tray is actually a storage tray for all of the parts once it is unpacked. Also contained in the box is the plastic eraser pressing device, 7 colours of eraser building blocks, clear spacer pixels, tweezers, a divider, 16 design patterns, 2 blanks for designing your own erasers and an instruction guide.
The erasers are composed of lots of little squares which are placed together in a pattern to create a blocky design – hence the name Pretty Pixels; the finished eraser will look pixelated, which is quite a cool theme at the moment. The set is aimed at children aged 8+, which I think is a very realistic age guide. My 9-year-old had no issues at all with this set and my mature 7-year-old just about managed but I think if she had been slightly older, she would have managed slightly better.
We really liked the process of constructing the erasers. The process is started by choosing the pattern you would like to build and inserting it into the eraser maker, which is like a little purple clamshell. The design is then built by using the tweezers to place the matching colours of eraser building blocks on to the pattern until the design is complete. The finished design might be square shaped, in which case it will have no gaps, or it may be an irregular shape which is created by using the spacer pieces within the design.
The sizer and wedge are then placed on top, the design sheet is removed and a drop of water is added before the clamshell lid is clicked shut. The whole thing then goes in the microwave for between 1-2 minutes, depending on your appliance. After letting it cool for a few minutes, it is then immersed in cold water for ten minutes, after which time the process is complete and the eraser can be removed from the eraser maker.
The results for this kit were actually very good! The erasers do hold together well and, possibly even more impressively, they also work to rub out pencil marks! The process does require a certain amount of finesse from the child but once I had them sat calmly at the table in the playroom, they were able to manage the process really well. It is a lovely activity for the kids to be getting on with whilst they are chatting with each other as whilst they do have to concentrate, it is not so hard that they can’t focus on anything else.
The designs in the pack were particularly appealing to the girls – they loved the pastel colours, the unicorns, the love hearts and the flowers. The rubbers, when complete were chunky, substantial and my youngest was really keen to start adding to her rubber collection and both of them loved the process of creating and designing their pieces.
I thought this was a super activity and one that would fill a rainy afternoon very well, especially as the kids have made something worthwhile at the end. This kit will make around 16 erasers, so I think we would probably get four crafting sessions for two kids out of it, which I think represents very reasonable value at £25. Now all I need is a craft that uses toilet roll tubes so we can start to make use of that bizarre collection!
Available to buy from Amazon here.