The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
I believe creativity is an important part of a young child's early education. In recent years the government have set out guidelines for encouraging babies and toddlers to learn from a very young age in their "birth to three matters" directive. Most importantly, experts believe that you shouldn't try to force a young child to be academic at too young an age but to encourage them to have fun and be creative instead. I wholeheartedly concur with this theory and am always on the lookout for activities I believe my son will find both entertaining and educational at the same time; and that's why I was so thrilled to discover the Crayola Mini Kids range and their products designed especially for 1 to 4 year olds. He's been scribbling with a crayon for some six months now and the novelty's really begun to wear off now. The crayons are sometimes a bit slippery to keep hold of and can be difficult to draw with if he doesn't hold them at the right angle. These marker pens with their cleverly moulded tips and washable inks were the ideal solution to my dilemma of how to make learning to draw more interesting for him.
I used to look after a little girl who loved to draw from 18 months old but it was always a worry letting her loose with a felt-tip pen. She'd cover herself in dots and stripes that no amount of scrubbing could get off afterwards so I didn't allow her to use pens as often as she'd have liked. That was only a few years ago but thankfully Crayola's First Markers mean I shan't have to endure the same difficulty with my own son, now 16 months.
Crayola Mini Kids (Super Washable) First Markers come in packs of eight including the colours: Blue, Red, Yellow, Green, Orange, Purple, Brown and Black. All the colours are bright, bold shades that a child of this age should find beneficially stimulating and the pack size is just right in my opinion. Making choices is a hard thing to learn when you're little so any more pens in the pack and my son would have probably been a bit distracted and overwhelmed by choice. To make a vibrant mark with a crayon you need to apply the kind of strength that most babies and toddlers lack but with these new markers a light stroke is all you need to make bright and vibrant marks on a piece of paper.
The markers are about six inches in length including the lids and an inch round making them easy to grip with small hands, without being too big or heavy to glide easily about a piece of paper. The lids are quite tight when clicked onto either end of the markers making it difficult for baby to remove them. To me this is a matter of safety and ensures the lids stay with the pens both when in use and when stored away. If baby can't remove the lids - he can't lose or try to eat them either. With the lids being about two inches long I doubt any child would easily be able to choke on these but the fact that the lids are difficult to remove just goes to reinforce my comfort with their safety.
Probably the most impressive feature these pens boast is the innovative "gumball nib". Basically, instead of the usual felt-tip end these markers have an almost flat, rounded end for drawing with that sticks out just a few millimetres. Not only is this ideal from a safety point of view (there's nothing there to chew on) but it means that baby can scrawl with these markers from any angle and achieve vibrant, colourful marks across their paper.
As for the manufacturer's claim that these markers are "super washable" well to an extent they are. If baby draws on his skin or on a finished wooden surface (i.e. table top) then a quick wipe with a baby wipe will get the marks off instantly. Pretty amazing considering how dark the colours are really. However if your baby or toddler was to draw on the walls with these - you're in trouble. I tested the pens by making a tiny dot on my wall and found that no amount of scrubbing would remove it. In all fairness to the manufacture, their claim is that these markers will wash off skin with ease and not walls so despite this being a let-down, I can honestly say that their claim is a hundred percent true. I drew a line on the back of my hand and wiped it over just twice with a baby wipe to remove it completely. Think how many times you'd need to wipe (or rather scrub) a regular felt-tip pen mark to remove it.
What did the real tester think then? He thought these were pretty neat and was thrilled to experiment in a medium other than crayons for a change. From the moment I produced the packet he was eager to have a nosey at the contents and comfortably took a pen in his grasp when handed to him and began to scribble. At just 16 months old he found he could drag these pens to and fro with great ease and was pleased with the colourful designs he managed to create. The variety of colours appealed to him and he frequently changed pens to try out the different colours on offer. He had no trouble picking them up and no trouble using them either. He even managed to name two of the colours; red and blue. I should point out his vocabulary is already quite advanced for his age but nevertheless; it just goes to show how much there is to learn from such a simple activity as scribbling with a marker. There are names of colours to learn, fine motor skills to tune, the concept of cause and effect, self-expression and self-awareness to be gained too. As soon as your child is old enough to understand how to drag a marker across a piece of paper instead of ramming it in their mouth, they're old enough for Crayola Mini Kids First Markers.
Manufacturer: Crayola Pack Size: 8 Colours: Blue, Red, Yellow, Green, Orange, Purple, Brown and Black Price: 3.19 - 3.69 Stockists: All major retail outlets Age Range: 1yr+ Packaging: Recyclable flip-top box Safety Standard: CE Mark
My nephew loves his, he's 15 Months & loves to draw, he has the crayons too, but sometimes tries to bite them, so I thought these would be good. He cant open them himself yet, but he loves to doodle & im always by the side of him, just incase he spots a close bit of wall. I couldnt believe how easily they came off the skin, till he tried the red one, that took quite a bit of removing!
Great review, lovely read, totally agree with crafting for toddlers.
Expired-Account 04.04.2008 08:22
I know a little girl who would like these and a mum who might not be too happy with me, nevermind, very helpful review
First Markers have been especially developed for children of 1+. The nib has been designed ... more
to allow your child to achieve bold strokes of colour at every angle, and is safely secured to stop small hands trying to remove it. Plus the ink rinses off skin, clothes e.t.c., so no need for soap or scrubbing!