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GlowCrazy Distance Doodler Review by Melissa Cummings

150 Elm Street
East Aurora, NY 14052

If you've got a wall, turn out the lights and get ready to glow! The children in your life are about to fall in love with this new product that makes the darkness shine with fun and ring with laughter. All you need to do is to peel the backing off a Glow Cling sheet and stick it to the wall, put four AAA batteries in the Magic Lightwand, turn off the lights, and start doodling! Draw from up close or from across the room, choosing between wide and narrow beams.

The batteries are not included, but along with the Magic Lightwand, you receive two large Glow Clings and four stencil sheets. The Glow Clings can be cut into shapes and put in various places around the room and even on the ceiling--any smooth, clean surface. They can be used as two separate drawing boards or put together to make one large area for glowing entertainment. We have found that the Glow Clings do not stay stuck to the wall for an extended period of time. They stick for a couple of hours but then fall down on their own. To keep them on the wall more securely, you could use thumbtacks or low tack tape. The Glow Cling does not harm the wall. It peels off easily and can be reused countless times.

The manufacturer suggests that this product is for children six years and older. However, this would be a great product to share with younger children, provided there is supervision to ensure that they do not stare into the light or shine it in each other's faces. My preschooler finds it highly addictive. While it is simply fun to doodle and draw and stencil from as far as ten feet away, there are tips and games included for suggested activities. Connecting the dots, playing tic-tac-toe, and playing darts have proven difficult for us, as we find the light fades too quickly from the Glow Clings even if the room is completely dark and we are drawing slowly. Using stencils, drawing silhouettes, and writing messages are some of the fun things we have used this product for. Learning the scientific side of glowing in the dark, playing with light refraction, and working on hand-eye coordination from a distance are some of the more educational aspects of this product; which could be explored to various depths with different groups and ages of children.

This product is available for between $20 and $30, but I personally would not want to pay more than $12 for what it contains and the quality we have experienced. It is a fun, entertaining, innovative activity, but because the light fades quickly it tends to limit the scope of imagination that can be involved.

Glow-in-the-dark items are always a hit with kids, and doodling on the wall is rarely encouraged. So children are sure to embrace the fun of the Glow Crazy Distance Doodler. It can even help children realize that the dark doesn't have to be scary but instead can be embraced as fun and creative.

Product review by Melissa Cummings, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2011