Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mess Free Art is a Big Yes from Me

I'm not a crafty mom, and when you're not a crafty mom and you are also a homeschooling mom, it can be difficult to reconcile those two personality traits. Pulling out the paints isn't something I love to do, and that's why getting to review products that advertise "mess free" and "solid tempera" is a gift. We can "paint" without the hassle. I am always looking for ways for the girls to do mess free art so I was thrilled to receive Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors from The Pencil Grip, Inc.

The Pencil Grip, Inc
My girls aren't alone in wishing I'd pull out the paints more often. Most kids love to paint. In fact, I just got through teaching a preschool art class at our co-op specifically marketed as "messy art". I don't mind teaching it at co-op, when I have parents helping me, a room that's easy to clean, and I'm setting up for multiple kids so I know it's worth it. I know painting is important. I also inwardly groan whenever the girls want to do it at home. Pulling out all that paint, laying down newspaper, waiting for it to dry, gingerly picking up the soaking pages because they always paint too much, washing out the brushes, all for what seems like ten minutes of activity...yeah, not my thing at home. Too much effort for not enough result. In fact, that's one reason the parents liked my class so much. The need was met with no clean up on their part.

But Madison is starting to like art more and more and I'm starting to feel bad that I'm such a drag. I'm trying very hard not to pass on my artistic inadequacy to her, and she's finding that as she moves out of the crayon medium and into other areas, she's gaining confidence. She was really excited to give these a try - especially when I told her I was willing to take a risk and move the trial out of the kitchen and to her desk in her room.
Thin Stix by KwikStix
Thin Stix look like markers when you hold them, but they're actually paint. According to Madison, they actually feel much more like oil pastels when you use them. However, they act like tempera paint when it comes to blending colors, and how quickly they dry and you can handle the page without covering your hands in color.

Thin Stix by KwikStix
Madison started easily - just sketching a very basic landscape on a pad she keeps in her room.

She really liked how easy it was to get good, bright colors.

However, she didn't love drawing with them, as you would with markers, or even with oil pastels. She couldn't quite get the look she was hoping for. So we brainstormed a few ways she could use them more effectively. She loved the idea of painting rocks, and immediately started one of the classic Father's Day projects she remembered from preschool - even adding a computer printout that she modpodged on.

Because the colors didn't blend as well as she hoped (she had to work very hard to get the right shade of purple), we found a few other colors in sets on Amazon. They come in classic (blue, yellow, green, red, black and brown), as well as sets of neon and metallic.

Overall, it's a great way to let my budding artists continue to bud, without a crazy lady hovering around, fearful of the paint splatter!

Thin Stix by KwikStix
No Mess Art with Thin Stix Classic Colors {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}

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