Kokeshi is a delightful Japanese tradition of painting a wooden doll and passing it on to a friend. Interplay sell a set of 3 Kokeshi dolls for your daughter to paint, include a secret message and pass on to their friend for them to treasure.
The box includes everything you need to paint and decorate the 3 dolls. There's plenty of paint, stickers, tags and secret message notes. The instructions are very easy to follow.
Middle decided he wanted to have a go at painting one and even though this set is aimed at 8 years+ it was simple enough for him to do.
A paintbrush is supplied but we used our own thicker brushes although you do need to be careful when painting around the neck with thicker brushes as Middle had went over on to the other colour a few times.
To get the desired effect it pays to put 2-3 coats on, especially with the white paint. They dried very quickly though so there wasn't masses of time to kill inbetween the coats drying. If you're going to make all 3 dolls at the same time you could paint one coat on a doll and move on to the next while waiting for it to dry.
The facial features are added via stickers although if you had a steady hand I'm sure you could paint on your own if you wanted to. You can then decorate your doll with the stickers as shown or mix and match.
Once your doll is decorated you write a message for your friend, roll it up tightly and place it in the whole in the doll. You add a tag if you wish and then pass it on to your friend.
We thought these looked really cute and the children had great fun making them. Girl cannot wait to give them to her friends, one of whom has moved away and she misses terribly. She wants to get some more so that she can give them to her birthday party guests in place of loot bags and I think that's a rather sweet idea.
Japanese Best Friend Dolls have been voted British Toy and Hobby Association's Best New Toy 2012 in the Creative category.
*We were not paid for this review. We were sent the Japanese Best Friend Dolls kit to try out. This review is of my own words and our own opinions. Links were added out of courtesy.