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When my kids were little and wanted to do artsy craftsy things, I was excited about that until I thought about the potential mess we'd have to clean up afterwards. My kids are older, and I only have one that still wants to do art projects, but neither of us like to clean up messes, so we were glad for the chance to review the Kwik Stix 12pk from The Pencil Grip, Inc. Tempera paint that dries quickly and can be used like a marker sounded like a win-win!
The Pencil Grip, Inc. is known for just that - the Pencil Grip, which teaches proper positioning for children learning to write and makes writing more comfortable by relieving hand fatigue and pain for children and adults alike. Since 1992 the company has grown and offers hundreds of unique products for home, school, and business. (They were kind enough to send a Pencil Grip to us along with the Kwik Stix paints.) One of their newer products is Kwik Stix, fast-drying solid tempera paint sticks. We received the Kwik Stix 12pk for this review.
How did we use it? In a nutshell, I handed the box of Kwik Stix to Kennady, and told her to have fun! I had recently purchased a canvas art pad for her, and that's what she painted on, but these paints will work just fine on poster paper or cardboard, and should work well on wood too. Kwik Stix look like markers, and they are just that easy to use.
The first thing Kennady did was to just cover a couple of canvases with the paints, because she wanted to see how bold the colors would be, and whether it was possible to blend the paint at all. As you can see, the colors are very bright and vibrant, but the paint does dry very quickly (about 90 seconds!) so blending does not work all that well.
She later used one of those experimental color pages as a background for an inspirational quote.
Because Kwik Stix work like markers, it takes almost no time at all to get out the paints and get started. No hunting up paintbrushes and cups of water, or laying down newspaper or something to protect a work surface. Not even a smock necessary to protect her clothes. Just get out the paper or canvas, take the lid of a Kwik Stix marker, and draw. With that kind of quick set-up and put-away, and little risk of making a mess, Kennady gravitated towards using the Kwik Stix for quick doodle-type paintings and design experiments. And I had no issues with her working on the dining room table, or even on the floor in her room.
The paints dry quickly, so she didn't have to wait long for one color to dry before starting with the next, or worry much that her hand might smudge what she'd already done. She did this rainbow in just a couple of minutes, without smudging or muddying the rainbow colors, but as you can see, she was a little too quick adding the white clouds on top of the one side of the rainbow. The darker colors underneath showed through the white - which was fine! - but also smeared just a little bit. I think that only happened when putting white on top of dark colors though, so just something to keep in mind depending on what the finished design is intended to look like.
My favorite piece that Kennady did remains this cityscape. This type of bold color block art seems to be what these nifty paints are best suited to.
What we liked best:
- no mess! I can't stress how much I love the lack of messiness!
- quick to set up for an art session, and quick to put away afterwards
- almost no wait time for paint to dry before moving on to the next color, or before putting the finished work away
What I need to mention:
- don't plan on mixing and blending colors - they dry too quickly for that to be effective.
Our bottom line: I keep thinking how fantastic Kwik Stix would have been when my kids were little! For that reason, I highly recommend these for families with younger kids that want to create. They would be easy for small hands to manipulate, and with no worries about paint or water being dumped, or hands and clothes being dragged through a work in progress. Kwik Stix are easy to carry around too, because it's just the box of "markers" so that just adds to the versatility. Just a super product and a brilliant idea!
Would you like to try paints without making a mess? Here's what you need to know:
Visit the website: http://www.ThePencilGrip.com/
Pricing: Kwik Stix come in several different size packages, so visit The Pencil Grip website or Amazon for the options and pricing. The Kwik Stix 12pk we reviewed is $11.99.
Age Recommendations: All ages, but due to small parts that pose a choking hazard, they are not suitable for children under 3 years old.
Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog for more information and to read other reviews.