I have been contacted by CSN stores to write a review of one of their products and I thought, what a great opportunity to try something new and share with you what I think about it! No in case you are wondering, I am not getting paid to do that, I just receive a product to test it.
The product that I chose to review I found by pure accident. I was browsing through some cake stuff on their website and voila, there it was- the very exciting Trace and Learn Cake! I know that this is a section for real cakes, but at this time of the year what a better way to tell our little cake-maker sidekicks (that we usually try to distract with something else while we, the super-duper-grown-up cake makers decorate) that we appreciate them, than to find them substitute of the real cake decorating?
To be honest, when I saw this product I thought it was a brilliant idea to have a cake for the kids to decorate, but before I actually tested it, I couldn't be sure. However, the most important testers in this case were my son ( 7) and my daughter ( 4) , who shared some thoughts in the matter too.
So, here it goes:
We got the toy and we all were very excited to try it, but it was difficult for the kids to wait until I grab my camera! :-)
They even tried to sneak up on me and open it before I was ready! Good thing I caught them!
There was a little squabble who should open it of course.
When everything was on the table, it was time to figure out how to play with it.
Each box has the plastic cake ( 2 round stackable parts), one clear orange plastic top, many reusable stickers to cover the sides of the cake, alphabet and number stamps to stamp over the clear orange plastic top, "icing" tube to write on the orange plastic, crayons, cleaning sponge for the crayons ( it looks like dry erase cleaner), candles and 2 semi-circle icing pieces that attach to the top of the cake as a border.
Now before you run screaming " Oh, no! One more thing to get lost around the house", let me tell you the good news- the cake is a "screw on" box, that you can hold all the small parts in:
Here is the time to mention, that one thing we all were surprised with was the lack of manual or any kind of instruction for that matter in the box. Later, after all the excitement passed, we saw that there is some stuff written on the box, but you know how kids are with boxes, for them it's the package, not the instruction. So that was something we all would have appreciated.
After we put it together ( the plastic border around) they started decorating.
There was time for writing
And time for cleaning
Now, as much as I appreciate the idea of using crayons on the cake, I must say, it was a pain. First of all, the kids couldn't clean up completely the traces of the oily crayon from the plastic, we had to use a baby wipe for that, because the cleaner didn't work well. Second, since the plastic was shiny smooth, the crayon didn't leave consistent "beautiful" line as my daughter said.
The candles were a really nice touch!
The stamps were nice, but while the kids were trying to figure out what letter is next, they quickly disappeared from the surface, so after a while they lost interest in them.
Remember that lack of instruction that I mentioned before? Well, before I could say anything at all, they've already written with the crayons on top of the clear orange plastic, that was supposed to be only for "fake icing tube" drawing. That took some soap and water to clean up.
It looked nice though! :-)
Once they figured out that the plastic icing tube is for the writing, they were on a roll!
Now, the way things were presented to be used in the box, the cake served it's purpose for the first 24 hours.
However, being the creative person I am, I saw so many possibilities, that just weren't explored with this toy! If you are to use it for your little cake-makers to keep them occupied while you decorate a real cake, you have to think outside the box or the cake in this case.
So, here are some fun ideas I came up with, while we were playing with the cake:
- the surface of the cake is perfect for dry erase markers. When we found out this, the kids had a blast, not to mention that for beginner cake decorators it's a perfect way to try a new design without doing it on paper and to look how it looks in 3D.
- the cake's surface is PURRfect, for icing! Good news mom, next time when you decorate a cake, just give your kid a bag of icing ( better if it's royal icing because it becomes hard and you won't have to wash it, but just remove it from the cake when it's dry). On top of that it perfect for beginner decorators too because they can practice decorating on a "real" looking cake! No more bottoms of pans!
Not to mention that the top orange cover is removable and you can just take it off and wash it.
And this is SO MUCH FUN! You just can't fake that smile, can ya? :-)
- More good news- the stamps are perfect to be used as regular stamps with regular ink.
Overall, it's a great product, but underestimated by the manufacturer. If you use it as you are recommended to, the kids will lose interest in it pretty quickly.
However, with a healthy dose of imagination and some eager kids, this toy can provide unbelievable amount of fun! We've celebrated "birthdays" many, many times at home, since we got it, and I can honestly say that I do recommend the Trace and Learn Cake!
I hope you've found this review helpful!