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Much as it pains me to rave about a children's art product - I've got two rather over prolific little artists who seem to permanently keep my recycling bin full - I wish that I'd discovered these crayons years ago as they are so amazingly good. Five pounds might seem a lot to pay for 24 solid 8 cm triangular pencils but we have found these crayons far better than any others we own and when they run out I will be buying some more.
These aren't traditional wax crayons but are more like a solid version of the inner part of pencils. This means there's no need to spend time sharpening pencils, something I abhor as I find the even quite expensive pencils can be broken all the way down and not up to the task - at risk of sounding like a kids' art nerd the only exception to this being the staedtler ergosoft pencils which are fantastic. These pencils are easy for a child to hold and promote correct positioning of the fingers. They have a 1cm diameter so are perhaps best suited for a child of five or more - there is a thicker version available but with less colours. When colouring with my daughters I've found them quite satisfying to use, the way they wear down means that you always have a fine point to use but can also use the nib for shading. By applying more or less pressure you can get a surprising amount of effects.
The pencils come in a sturdy case, handy for taking out and about and for encouraging children to keep them tidy. I think there is a great range of colours - you can see the exact colours above- from more muted shades to brighter tones. The only criticism I would make is that there is only one shade of yellow, this is made up for by there being a lovely metallic gold and a good range in all the other colours. They are without doubt a quality item.
With extensive use we haven't had any break and the children really enjoy colouring with them. The finish they get is similar to the one you would get with traditional pencils but they are, in our experience, much more satisfying to use. Highly recommended and well worth the purchase price given that your average child is bound to get hours of fun from them.
Where to buy:
We bought ours for £4.99 from Toysrus, also available from Amazon for a similar price