There’s something pleasant and organic about doodling with the H2-Whoa! by B. toys. It could be because the H2-Whoa! has no moving pieces, or maybe because it doesn’t make any obnoxious noises. Maybe it’s because you don’t need anything “extra” to operate it.
The H2-Whoa! is an awesome alternative to the typical magnetic doodle-boards, and I’d wager to bet lasts twice as long.
The H2-Whoa! consists of a sturdy double-sided fabric drawing board, and four little water pens that fit snugly into individual slots across the top and bottom. There are handles on either side of the frame so you’re little person can grab it up off the floor when you want to play with it – or out of your lap when he wants you to stop hogging his toy.
Pro Tip! Take two of the pens out immediately and stash them in your battery drawer or something. Eventually, you’ll need a backup pen, and there’s no reason you need all four on the H2-Whoa! at once.
In case you’re not familiar with waterboarding, it’s a particularly bad form of torture where you tie someone down and pour water ov– oh wait, that’s not what we’re talking about here! The H2-Whoa! is a water *drawing* board. The “pens” are filled with normal tap water, and leave just small streaks of water on the canvas, which evaporates after a couple of seconds. The H2-Whoa! has two of these surfaces, so if you want to “start over,” you just turn the board over. By the time you’re done on that side, the other’s dry.
What the H2-Whoa! doesn’t have is string tethering the water pens to the board. This is good news! Companies rarely make their tethers long enough, and for something like a drawing board, I like having freedom of movement if my kid and I are wrapped around each other as we doodle. How many times have you seen your kid using a magnet-doodler when all of the sudden, it crashes down on their foot? That’s because they went full-pollock and the toy couldn’t handle it. See, those toys teach children that there’s limits on freedom. They teach children that you can be artistic and creative, as long as you’re not deemed a danger to society. H2-Whoa! trusts your child to not lose the pens, and encourages them to go crazy.
This board is great for kids learning numbers, shapes, letters and animals. I’ve already had plenty of “guess the animal” games with my boy. He’s also learning letters, so it’s awesome to hold his hand and write a letter with him. While preschools often recommend getting a box of sand and allowing your child to trace out letters with their fingers, the H2-Whoa! lets you write a letter, flip the board, write another, flip the board back to where the first has faded, and write another.
What’s funny about the H2-Whoa! Is that it changes the way that you, the adult, draws. Oh sure, your kids are still going to churn out the same simplistic, crooked crap drawings that they always have. But since you’re drawing with quickly-evaporating water, you’ve got to learn how to draw crooked and crappy also. For doodlebugs like me, it’s a blessing and a curse. The bad part is when your kid draws something for the first time or writes a letter on the board, it disappears right away, so your excitement and celebrations are cut short. The good part is that when your kid’s not looking, you can (and will) antagonize your wife by drawing a penis or set of boobs on the H2-Whoa! and it’ll be gone by the time that your kid turns around.
The best part about the H2-Whoa! is that it’s self-contained. You don’t need crayons, paper, erasers, paints, or any other outside supplies, other than tap water. This makes the H2-Whoa! great for car trips, friend’s houses and family vacations. I’d say restaurants, but I wouldn’t suggest you bringing the H2-Whoa! places where your child has access to glasses of water. If your child is a jerk – and most kids are – they will want to know what happens when they dip a napkin in a glass of water and paint with it on the board. I don’t know, as a matter of fact, what happens. Except that I probably hit the roof and start annihilating things.
The only real downside to the H2-Whoa! is speculative; I suppose that if you were to lose one of these pens between couch your cushions, the power of osmosis would wick the water from the tip of the pen into the cushions. I have no scientific evidence that this would actually happen. That’s kind of why I said it’s “speculative.”
Otherwise, the H2-Whoa! is a big winner. And for the 12 of you that are Earth-minded, the H2-Whoa! is BPA-free, lead-free and phthalate-free. I thought that someone typo’d on the press-release when I read “phthalate,” but evidently they’re a real thing and we’re to be scared of them.
That’s how I like to end my reviews – with fear.