**DISCLOSURE: I’m not much of an artist, but when I had the chance to try out the IDO3D art kit with my niece and nephews, I jumped at the opportunity. IDO3D art hired me to play with 3D art and tell you all about it. What could be more fun?**
I’m not known for being crafty, but I actually love a good art project. Just because I’m a writer doesn’t mean I can’t create in other ways. When I got the chance to try out the IDO3D art kit with my niece and nephews, I immediately agreed. It sounded like a perfect way to have fun with the kiddos in my life and experiment with a cool product.
The art kit arrived Monday afternoon, a little later than I’d hoped, but the kids are out of school for Thanksgiving and they were up for a pre-dinner art session. We cleared the dining table, spread out some newspapers, and opened the box.
Inside we found five art makers, a guidebook, a plastic sheet, two small plastic molds and the IDO3D spotlight. Fortunately, I’d read ahead and picked up the three AAA batteries required, but a heads up to anyone who gifts this item. You might want to include a four pack of AAA batteries.
The set up was simple. After exchanging the caps on the pens for tips that open and close like a glue bottle, my niece, the oldest, chose her first pattern. Since it was our first time using the kit, we decided to stick with beginner patterns, although the guidebook offers a nice selection of beginner, intermediate and advanced options to choose from.
My niece chose a flower pattern for a necklace, placed the plastic tracing sheet over the pattern, and outlined the pattern in our three colors, red, yellow and green. As the ink squeezed out, it reminded me of those puffy paint pens so popular when I was growing up. Both nephews watched as we held the spotlight over her work. When my engineer brother-in-law walked in, he immediately identified the UV powered light. The ink dried quickly enough to keep the shape of the necklace. When she finished, my niece easily peeled her new creation from the plastic tracing sheet.
“This would be a great rainy day craft,” she declared. Exactly what I was thinking. Now it was my nephew’s turn, second oldest, so second in line. He quickly chose a monkey and it didn’t take this six-year-old long to finish. I was impressed. “I can’t wait to show my friends at school,” he said. We had a discussion on how he might carry the monkey in a box so the limbs wouldn’t break off. The 3D artwork is cool, but it could snap if you’re not careful.
Finally it was my youngest nephew’s turn. He’d been waiting patiently and helping dry the others’ work with the spotlight. He decided to craft the first truly 3D project of the day, a pair of eyeglasses. At four, he needed some help getting started with the ink, but that’s what big sisters are for. Once he got going, he didn’t stop. He created all three pieces to the eyeglasses, and then we all had a turn drying them. The more ink you use, the longer it takes to dry with the pen. Not surprising. I thought the pen worked fairly well for its size, and holding it over the artwork was my nephews’ favorite part of the project. Make sure kids understand they should not shine the spotlight into anyone’s eyes, though.
Once the pieces dried, we glued them together using a touch of the ink, and laughed at the results. My nephew couldn’t put them on right away. The pen dries them but to really cure them, they need some time in a sunny windowsill. If you used this as a mid-summer project, a little time in the hot sun would be perfect. Rainy and snowy day crafts will need a good afternoon in the window.
Spurred by our success, my niece dove into her own 3D piece, a flower pot and standing flower. This was the most complicated beginner option, and it took longer to outline the smaller pieces, dry them, and slowly glue them together. It also took teamwork. “This is kind of hard,” she said. It was definitely more challenging than crayons and paper, but more rewarding, too. We finished the flower pot, but we had to add more ink to the bottom, since the flower made it top heavy. Still, we succeeded in making it stand up, and my niece looked pretty pleased.
From set-up to clean-up, we worked about two hours, but we completed four projects and all took turns, so an hour to do one or two easy crafts is a reasonable amount of time. Kids under eight will need adult supervision. My niece did well on her own, and only needed an extra pair of hands at times. Kids ten and up would rock this art kit and be able to tackle the cool advanced projects, like that dragon on the front of the box.
Overall, we had a blast, and I like the art kit a lot. One nephew wished we could have had a blue ink pen, and I agree it would be cool to have extra colors. If we had an extra spotlight, we could dry the products faster, too. It looks like more pens can be ordered through the company.
If you’re looking for a fun craft idea for kids, and something more than the usual paper and crayons, this is a great product to try. With Christmas coming up, and birthdays all year, any kid would love to try out this free standing art. It’s challenging but rewarding. Clean up isn’t tough and if kids are careful, they can keep their 3D artwork for a long time. Maybe next time my niece, nephews and I can work up to that dragon!