Our momstown arts and craft-ers usually share our own craft ideas, including crafts made from recycled material, alphabet crafts, and even crafts babies can do! But sometimes in the midst of all that creating, we come across a pre-made product that catches our eye - and is worth a blog post!
One such creation is Crayola's Model Magic - it's an amazing medium that my kids have put to good use in many different forms, including Presto Dots, and Color Fillz Mosaic. What is it? Model Magic is an "soft, easy-to-use modelling material that air dries within 24 hours".
Here are three reasons I love this product:
1. It has the sensory appeal and fun factor of playdough - but NO mess!
2. Mixing colours works just like plasticine or paint - you can add red and yellow to make orange - so it's a great teaching tool for primary colours and colour wheels!
3. It goes a long way. You can't reuse model magic that you leave to air dry, but you can keep in airtight tubs or ziplocks to use the next time. Most of the sizes I've tried give enough for one 'finished' project but lots left over for another day.
My kids have made many of the Presto Dots guys (like the one pictured above) over the past few years (and they actually turn out almost as good as the picture!), as well as used Model Magic freestyle to make their own creations (my preference!).
But a recent family gathering with kids aged 3-7 let me really put Model Magic to the test. We had two separate crafts - a Presto Dots activity for the 3 and 4 year olds, and a Color Fillz mini Mosaic for the 6 year olds. How did we fare?
The Mosaic craft was more complicated but for the 6 year olds, no problem (packaging states ages 6+). There were two mosaics to choose from (and 2 boys) so it worked out perfectly! There were examples in the instructions regarding colour placement but the kids did their own thing.
You basically take small bits of model magic and put them into a mosaic frame, then peel the backing away to review a pretty cool creation. It takes overnight to dry (and it was humid so a bit longer in our case!). There is also a neat colour mixing guide for kids to use if they need some reminder on their primary and secondary colours!
So I'd say 2 thumbs up on this one!
The Presto Dots craft is aged a bit younger (packaging states 5+) but the pizza and popcorn creations weren't of any interest to the 3 and 4 year olds. Just too complicated and they weren't interested in following the instructions. However they LOVED playing with the Model Magic, and made lots of colour combinations, balls, snowmen (stacked balls!) and little snakes. So it got lots of play value, and we had lots left over to use for another time.
My verdict - for younger kids - go with a tub or multipack of Model Magic in primary colours, and forget the proscribed 'make it look like the picture' version! Older kids - you can't seem to go wrong, let them pick out their own favourite and have fun!