University Games‘ Doodletop Twister Deluxe Kit lets kids ages 5 and up make crazy designs with spinning tops. The Deluxe kit includes three Doodletops, a Twister, eight interchangeable mini-markers in various colors, 10 sheets of design paper, and a design tray.
Getting started is simple: First, young artists can decide which color ink they would like to put to paper first. I went with orange, because it was the most vibrant looking one of the bunch. There’s also blue, green, red, yellow, purple, brown, and black to choose from.
Next, kids can pop their color pen into the bottom of one of their Doodletops, remove the cap, and insert the entire thing into their Twister. The Twister is a small, plastic device with a button and an internal spring that helps launch the top at dizzying speeds.Kids can rotate the Twister clockwise to tighten the spring and get the top ready for launch. Once ready, all they need to do it press the button on the Twister to release the top. The more twists and turns they do, the faster it will spin on the canvas. The design tray (which is actually just the bottom of the Doodletop box) is the perfect arena for producing these doodles.
The colorful results are similar in style to the drawings a spirograph creates, if spirographs were in the infant stages of learning to produce clean, geometric designs. The spirals created by the Doodletops are a bit more abstract and wonky, but super fun nonetheless. The magic is in watching them rotate wildly on the paper, leaving a trail of color as they stumble around and ultimately come crashing to a halt. Kids will have a blast sending their tops spinning and watching the colorful creations they produce.
Spinning the top and sitting back as it goes to work is fun, but that’s really just the beginning. As kids will learn, there are a handful of ways to influence the trajectory of each top and much more to explore once it’s done spinning. For example, artists can spin their tops and then tilt the design tray to maneuver the top around the paper and change its angle. The wider the angle, the bigger the spiral.
Kids can even combine the art of Doodletop drawing with more traditional, hand-drawn designs. They can draw a funny face for example, and then spin their Doodletop outward from the head to create some crazy, curly hair. They can even color between the lines of spirals to create vibrant illusions, or spin two tops at the same time and watch two colors battle for supremacy.
Featuring washable and non-toxic markers, the Doodletop Twister Deluxe kit can be enjoyed by artists of all ages. And the included design paper is just regular letter-sized computer paper, so kids need not worry about wasting away their canvas supply.