Sunday, August 12, 2012

Yes to Classic Crayons and Markers...

... and no to newfangled ones that cost more but do less.

Take for example two Crayola products: The Color Explosion 3D Kit and Crayola Color Wonder: Toy Story Coloring Book and Markers.

I forgot which specific Crayola Color Explosion 3D Kit we got (it has fast cars and crocodiles), and maybe they were really not suited for a 4-year old. Suffice it to say, we ran out of pens before all the pages were colored. My son used up all of what's in the 2 Color Explosion Slick Stix and the Color Explosion Marker seems to have run dry before he/we were able to color half of the book. So, we the rest as black pages. I've checked but they don't seem to be selling separate pens/refills for it. And I seriously don't want to buy yet another set and also end up not having enough marker power to color all the pages in those too.

And then there's the Crayola Color Wonder: Toy Story Coloring Book and Markers, where the markers seem to have invisible ink and will only color the pages in that specific coloring book. Our issue here is that we're done with all the pages, but now have no more use for the pens as they will only color special pages that will react to the magic ink. Again, reources are wasted...

... but the more important issue with such (and similar) products is that your child, no matter what age, is not really coloring/drawing. They are not really making art. The pictures have been colored and made for them. It doesn't matter if the 3D effect will be more metallic here, or more neon there, it's still just a child thinking he made art when he really didn't.

No magic there... and certainly, what a deceitful way to disempower a child from actually creating.

So, parents everywhere, Stick to the classic crayons and markers. In fairness to Crayola, we love their washable crayons and markers... because my sons' art find their way on clothes, walls, curtains, boxes and even their bodies. I also appreciate the non-toxic quality since my sons are prone to skin irritations... but haven't had bad reactions even if the markers sometimes end up as eyeshadow. Plus, the washable markers don't dry up easily... ours have been operational for almost two years and are still working.

Now, if only I can find Jumbo crayons in more colors! :)

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