One word that I remember from my childhood.
You grow up, you have children, and toys fill your home. Then, one shows up as a gift for your child and your heart does a little leap because you recognize it from your own childhood.
That is the beauty of Spirograph.
Product Review: What is Spirograph?
The Spirograph Deluxe Kit that my big kid got comes with the following goodies:
19 precision wheels (most are circular, but there are other shapes too)
Putty to keep the rings in place (great addition that didn’t come with my original set)
3 gel pens (red, green, blue)
20 sheets of blank paper
1 portable carrying case with a built-in work surface (brilliant!)
Those are just the contents inside the Spirograph Deluxe kit but it doesn’t really explain what it is. So, how do I explain what Spirograph is? Well, it’s fun with a pen and it involves a circle with jagged edges that make it look like a gear (aka the precision wheel), and an outer ring with jagged edges that keep the gear in place. The idea is to stick the pen into one of the holes in the gear and move it around in the ring. Do it carefully so that the jagged edges connect as gears would and before you know it, you’ve got a really cool design on paper that you would never have imagined possible.
The super neat thing about Spirograph is that depending on the size of the circle you use and the specific hole you put the pen in, you end up with various different designs and patterns that you can overlap or keep separate. Change up the pen colour and what you have is nothing short of magic.
Take a look at one of our earlier attempts with the Spirograph. In this particular design, my big kid used all 3 of the pens that came with the kit. As you can see, it’s not easy to make a complete design which makes Spirograph a challenging yet rewarding experience for older children. There’s a sense of determination to conquer all the technicalities so that the final design comes out without a glitch. Of course, that takes practice and coordination utilizing both the left hand and the right hand.
The putty is a great addition to the Spirograph world. I remember trying to make designs and patterns. Inevitably at some point, the ring would move despite my best attempts to keep it in place and my design would get ruined. Using the sticky putty to help keep the outer ring stable certainly helps to alleviate the frustration new users may experience.
Here’s one of the designs we made using our own coloured pens.
The Spirograph set also came with a guide book that explains how to use the different wheels and rings. It even tells you how to make specific patterns. We didn’t really bother with the guide book. Instead of learning about specific patterns from the guide book, we decide to investigate on our own. It’s so much more fun that way!
If you’re looking for a gift for an older child, Spirograph may just be something to consider. There are so many different patterns to create and explore. It’s engaging and intriguing and at times, frustrating but never boring. Spirograph uses your child’s imagination, helps them to problem solve, and builds their fine motor coordination. Best part is, you could use it too!
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