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Keeping little hands busy with creative activities can be simpler than you think! We tried out the Djeco Bugs Scratch Board Art Kit. Here’s what we thought.
Recommended for ages 3-6, the Djeco Bugs Scratch Board art kit is compact, simple, and surprising. This was a delightful addition to our Pre-K curriculum while working on fine motor skills, visual discrimination, and patience.
What is Scratch Art?
Sturdy template boards hold hidden pictures and details under ink that is scratched off with a “pencil-like” wooden tool for little hands. Children use their fine motor skills and visual discrimination to identify the areas and patterns that can be scratched off to reveal surprises and designs.
The Djeco kits come with 4 scratch board designs, a wooden scratch tool, and a booklet that shows the before and after pictures of each design.
Is it Mess-Free Art?
I would consider scratch art to be low-mess and easily maintained. While scratch art does produce a pile of little specks and flake residue from the scratched off ink, it’s relatively easy to clean up when done on a table or art mat.
I would not do this activity on the go, in the car, or at a doctor’s office or friends’ house without a cloth or supervision to reduce potential mess.
We did not experience any staining or difficulty in cleaning up, but the little blue flakes did stick to anything that they came into contact with.
What We Love About Scratch Art
Djeco is a French company, so it was fun to see and practice the French words for each of the bugs. The four bugs are cute and colorful illustrations of bees “abeielle”, caterpillars “chenille”, ladybug “coccinelle”, and butterfly “papillon”.
The quality of these scratch boards is very good as well. While the cards do bend and will rip if you try hard enough, they are glossy and thick enough to withstand normal use. I chose to store them in my daughter’s desk when she was not working on them, so as to keep them from getting unintentionally destroyed!
My daughter was eager to open the packet and get started. It took some explaining to help her understand what she was supposed to do and why there was so much blue on the pictures! But once she started scratching, she figured it out quickly.
The wooden tool is like a small pencil and perfect for helping young children learn how to hold a writing instrument correctly with a pincher grasp.
She enjoyed the concept of finding the hidden patterns and pictures. The illustrations are cute and appealing to children, and it kept her busy for a few minutes at a time. As she hasn’t done any scratch art before, I thought this was a great activity to work on her fine motor skills, and practice staying still and working on one repeated task for a period of time. That skill of patience takes practice!
What We Didn’t Love About Scratch Art
My kinesthetic 4-year-old likes to work with her hands, but her attention span for doing repeated actions isn’t very high. Of course, that’s not actually a fault of this activity–it’s her personality! However, for us, she would scratch at it for a few minutes and then get bored and move on to something else. Her longest stretch of time may have been around 10 minutes or so.
But, even if she didn’t stick with it for a long time, the good thing is that she did enjoy it overall and would come back to it a few days later. We’ve had these boards for about 2 months and she has periodically chosen to work on them every few days/weeks. 2 of the pictures are almost completely scratched off and 2 of them still have about 75% left to go.
As a parent, I was surprised by this. When I first saw the boards I thought for sure she would have them all done in a day or two. They seemed so simple. And I’m sure a dedicated child could, in fact, complete them quickly. But for us, this has been an activity that has lasted over time, which I’m delighted by!
Final Thoughts on Djeco Bugs Scratch Boards
We have enjoyed these scratch boards and I think they are a worthwhile investment for enriching learning skills. If I had a child who had the patience to do a whole picture at a time, I would only give them one board at a time to spread them throughout the school year.
I appreciate that it’s an art project that is low-mess and doesn’t require my assistance (just general supervision for young children). I also value that it assists in fine-motor and pencil-holding skills, and practicing patience and resilience.
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