Disclaimer: Guide Dots kindly gifted this product to me in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are those of myself and/or my family.
As a child I was constantly drawing. I would draw rainbows, people and faces, pictures of my Barbie horse, use my Fashion Plates toy and design and color the clothes I created. I loved coloring books of all kinds. I would fill sketch pads with all sorts of doodles. My grandma always told me I was great at creating faces and that I would be great someday with lots more practice.
Around the end of middle school, however, I became self-conscious about my drawing abilities and gradually quit drawing altogether. Only after I had graduated from high school did I pick up a pencil and paper again.
I wish that I had spent more time practicing drawing and learning the fundamentals so that I would be more comfortable and confident with my drawing abilities.
I occasionally still sketch, but nothing like I used to do.
My four-year-old daughter seems to be following in my footsteps. She loves almost any creative activity and particularly enjoys drawing. It has been so fun to watch the people and animals that she draws progress from looking like little squid-like people and animals to resembling actual people with close to normal proportions.
I was terribly excited when I read about Art Nook’s Guide Dots art instruction program. I knew this would be something that my daughter and I would really enjoy doing together.
Guide Dots is an interactive learning program that teaches children how to draw, with step-by-step instruction. With a subscription, along with the starter kit you receive monthly projects based on age and skill level. To go along with each project is a video that children can watch to see the instructor going through each step and explaining what to do. Each project and video can be done at your child’s own pace and repeated as many times as you’d like. Each monthly subscription package includes two Guide Dots rolls and 4 video tutorials.
The Starter Kit
We were kindly gifted the Level One Guide Dots starter kit. Inside each kit, you will receive one USB-powered light tablet, 9 dual-tip colored markers, 6 drawing rolls, 1 box of chalk pastels, 1 kneadable eraser, a binder clip, and 2 elastic bands. The Level Two starter kit contains the materials above, plus 1 box of oil pastels, 1 watercolor set with two paintbrushes, and 1 watercolor paper pad.
It is simple to set up and begin to learn to draw!
- Plug in the light tablet using a the provided USB cable.
- Place the two orange elastic bands on both sides of the light tablet.
- Unroll a drawing roll and pull it over the light tablet underneath the elastic bands. The elastic bands will hold it in place.
- Clip a piece of paper over the top of the drawing roll, but make sure the paper roll is not clipped in place.
5. Turn on the light tablet.
6. Log in to the Guide Dots website on a tablet or computer and choose the video that corresponds with your project.
The drawing rolls we received were the snowman and reindeer projects. Abby had a lot of fun watching the video and following along on her paper.
I did have to help her pull the paper roll through the elastic bands to begin each new step, but I did that more because I knew she wouldn’t be too careful and would probably rip the roll (she has inherited my “bull in a china shop” characteristics, unfortunately).
She followed along with the video for each step. At the time I was trying to keep her little brother entertained by watching Muppet Babies, so there were several times where we had to sit and wait for the video to play. I’m sure because of the bandwidth being used by the Xbox streaming his video. Being four-years-old, she started to get bored when we waited for the video, but overall she sat and focused on the task very well.
She is very proud of her snowman picture! She used the chalk pastels to add color to her pencil drawing.
I was told that the yellow at the side is “yellow snow” but I didn’t want to dive into a conversation about what yellow snow is, haha!
The Discover Art package, Level 1 (Ages 4-6) is $89.99.
The Art Confidence package, Level 2 (Ages 7-9) is $109.99.
Each Starter Kit comes with a 3-month Guide Dots subscription and you will receive 2 new drawing rolls each month. If you wish to extend the 3-month subscription that comes with your Starter Kit, the following options are available:
Starter Kit only: This is $89.99.
The 1 month subscription plan is $19.99.
The 3 month subscription plan is $56.99 every 3 months.
The 6 month subscription plan is $101.94 every 6 months.
The 12 month subscription plan is $179.88 every 12 months.
I think the Guide Dots kit is a great way to help kids learn to draw or help them improve the skills they already have. I love that each drawing has an instructional video that allows your child to pause or go back and repeat a step, plus I love that each roll can be used over and over again. I think this is a tool that will get a lot of use in our home by not only Abby but also by our son when he is older.
I think the light tablet is pretty cool and I want to try it out for myself. I wish something like this would have been available when I was younger.
As a parent, the main concern I would have is the price point for the starter kit, as it is a bit pricey, but I totally understand that it includes the light tablet, supplies, and videos. It is a product that can be used by more than one child and used repeatedly, so I think it is a good value.
Overall, I give Guide Dots 5 out of 5 stars!
Visit the Guide-Dots website to check out their options at https://guide-dots.com/.
I’d like to give a big thank you to Guide Dots for gifting my family the Starter Kit! It’s a hit!
Has your family tried Guide Dots? I would love to know how you like it!