The Boogie Board Play & Trace is an electronic drawing gadget that reminds me a bit of tracing paper when I was a kid. It’s a semi-transparent screen that when pressed with a stylus or fingernails changes color as though you were drawing on it. You can place it over a document, series of letters, or pretty much anything if you want to trace over it.
When you’re done with your sketching, a press of a button wipes away the drawing never to be seen again, which is unfortunate as I had a very elaborate drawing to photograph and Maggie decided she wanted to draw what I can only assume was a tornado farting on a rock.
I first ran into this at Pepcom while attending the Consumer Electronics Showcase in January 2016 in Las Vegas. The company was actually there showcasing a couple of amazing products they have coming out in June or July, but this one I decided there on the spot I was going to purchase for my toddler to learn to trace letters.
Above: this thing is hard to photograph
The Boogie Board Play & Trace is fairly tough, I’m not sure the upper limits but a nearly 3-year-old fell on it in spectacular fashion and other than there being some new squiggles that erased the next time, there was no damage.
The Boogie Board Play & Trace runs on a single battery, and it runs for an obscenely long time. The traces are close enough to where you’re pressing that I can’t tell a difference. The thumb hole allows for comfortable gripping if you’re wandering around like an artist.
It also comes with a free iPad activity app, but at that point my toddler wants the iPad more than the tracing app.
A little bit of criticism of an otherwise amazing product
The back of the unit, which I forgot to get pictures of, appears to have the ability to wall or desk mount with properly placed screws. The back is also a little utilitarian and loses a half point for overall coolness, but chances are you’re not going to be obsessed with looking at the wrong side of the product.
The screen is a little dim looking, and in some light it’s hard to see. It’s absurdly hard to photograph your kid’s masterpiece, but that’s not really the point of the product. For tracing letters and shapes and just doodling it’s amazing. Should be noted the type of light really affects what you’re going to see.
My toddler on day one took the unattached stylus and placed it in a Kleenex tissue box unbeknownst to us. We didn’t have it for a week until the box was empty.
We managed with fingernails and pointy things without too much problem. You might want to consider taping a string to the stylus if you’re on the road.
Boogie Board Play & Trace overall
Get it. It’s one of a very few kid tech products I’ve randomly stumbled upon that I’ve wanted to purchase then and there. It’s also become something that I’ve been sketching on for fun, so you know it caught my attention.
If it’s after July 2016 you might want to check and see if their multi-color Boogie Board has been released yet.
The Boogie Board Play & Trace is available from Amazon for $24.87