We have been working on building a toolbox of independent learning activities that Monkey can work on in the afternoons while I work. We were excited to try Timberdoodle’s Mystery Mosaic book 9. The boys both love tiled color by numbers (as opposed to traditional color by numbers) so much that we print excessive amounts from the internet. I figured the Mystery Mosaic books would be a perfect addition to our afternoon choices. However, the squares on the book are very small, as are the numbers. This overwhelmed the boys and they refused to even try. The book is labeled for 6+, so we assumed it would be fine for our 7 and 9 year olds. I definitely feel these books are more suitable for older students and adults. It would also be difficult for someone who struggles with their vision, as the numbers are very small and rather light.
Even though the boys refused to work on this activity, they did enjoy watching Mama complete her mosaic. Mr. Man kept saying, “Wow, that is SO beautiful!” After seeing me finish mine, which one of the children quickly confiscated, I think I would be able to get them to make an attempt with much coaxing. Though I doubt Monkey would have the patience to stick with the process in order to complete the entire picture. They are very detailed.
I used Faber-Castell pencils to complete my mosaic. You can go take a look at my review on those. For the Mystery Mosaics, I would keep in mind that a lot of shades are used, so your typical box of 12 pencils is not going to work. You will need something with a larger spectrum of shades. I saw that Mindware has a set of pencils, created specifically for their Mosaic books, where the pencils are numbered to match the numbers on the designs. I think this would be quite helpful. The picture I did used 21 different numbers. Keeping track of which pencil was used for each number got a bit tricky.
Overall, Mama enjoyed Mystery Mosaics, but they were too overwhelming for my guys. I would definitely reserve these for older children. Other than the age concern, these books are great! High quality and nicely done.
Disclaimer: Timberdoodle provided me with a discounted copy of Mystery Mosaics book 9 in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and received no further compensation.