My daughter, the artist: Master Kitz at Mastermind Toys!
Like most families, we have plenty of toys around for our kids to play with. And like most parents, I frequently complain that these toys are just clutter, taking up room when the kids don’t really play with them. The one thing I’ve never complained about is my daughter’s interest in art. We’ve dedicated a part of our home to arts and crafts: A huge table, a storage unit of drawers filled with every manner of craft supply you can imagine. Glitter, pom poms, chalk, scissors, and finger paints. Clay, pipe cleaners, stickers, glue, markers, crayons, acrylic paint and water paint. It’s messy, yes. But it’s a good kind of mess. The kind that expands kids’ minds and lets them just freely be creative. I love this kind of mess.
When I was at a media event for Mastermind Toys recently, their CEO, Jonathan Levy, told us about all the exciting new products they’d be carrying this season. I really dig Mastermind Toys, and was so happy to get an inside view into how they choose the products they carry, and what their values are as a company. They take great care to choose things that will enrich the lives of children, and I was really excited when I was given the opportunity to try out one such product: Master Kitz.
Given the choice, I picked the Water Lillies kit for Story. She turned six in September, and her skills are still pretty rudimentary. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the kit, and didn’t want her to feel disappointed in the result, so this looked perfect for her. She typically enjoys creating her own art (as opposed to colouring in books), so I wasn’t sure what she’d think of something with steps like this kit. The kits are recommended for ages 5+, and are sold for $29.99 at Mastermind Toys.
The idea of these kits is to introduce different styles of art to kids. The Water Lillies kit includes:
- 1 Sturdy, reusable art tool box with magnetic closures
- 2 Reusable stencils
- 9 Artist’s Quality Custom Soft Pastels (child friendly)
- 1 Shammy for colour blending
- 1 shadow maker tool
- 2 pieces of deluxe art paper
- Fun, easy-to-understand Monet learning materials
- Easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions
First, we read the included information about Monet; she loved this! She loved learning about his style, and how he came to define it. She loved examining the tools included, and was excited to read the guidelines for how she could create her own work of art.
She was easily able to follow each step, and execute them independently once I got her set up:
She really loved using her hands (as opposed to the included shammy) to blend the colours and let me warn you: it. is. messy. The pastels are more like chalk, and leave a fine dust behind. I was happy she was doing this in her art area. Her hands were covered in colours, and there was dust everywhere. It washes off hands and clothes very easily, though.
Story was so focussed on her artwork, she didn’t want to stop. The whole process can take as long (or short) as a child would like, keeping their attention for as much time as they choose. Here she is adding flowers to her lily pads:
In total, the kit took her under two hours to complete, and she was SO proud with the results:
I love the end result so much, I’ve hung it on our living room wall for all our guests to see. The kit comes with another piece of deluxe art paper, too, so Story is pretty excited to try it again and see what else she can come up with.
She absolutely adored doing this. It was amazing to see her interest grow as she learned the technique, and she is excited to use the pastels to create her own entirely unique works of art, too. This is a fantastic gift for any art-loving kid, and we’ll absolutely buy her the other Kitz in the series.
Disclosure: As always, this review is of a product I truly love, or I’d never consider writing about it. As compensation for writing an honest review, I was given one Master Kitz, as detailed above. My opinions can’t be bought. 🙂