Children’s art supplies are a delicate subject when you have two children with a slight age gap. Felt tip pens have always caused arguments in our house. Libby is old enough to use them and loves to draw and colour in. Lia on the other hand, just can’t quite master them.
We had an incident a few months back where the end of the pen ended up in her mouth, which made her sick. And even on a good day, more pen ends up on her than on the paper. And don’t get me started on the mess she makes of the ends of the pens.
Enter Fibracolor baby colouring pens
When I saw the Fibracolor baby pens, I knew they were perfect for Lia. They have the same effect as normal felt tips, but the ends are round so they don’t tear or get pressed in. They’re also super-washable, they don’t stain and they have choke-proof caps.
Lia has absolutely adopted these as her own. If anybody else wants to use one, they have to ask her. And the best thing is, she doesn’t really want to use Libby’s felt-tips because she prefers her own. My only regret is that we didn’t find them sooner. They’re suitable for age 1 and upwards and would have prevented a lot of arguments in our house if we’d had them when Lia was that age.
Felt tips for older children
Since starting school, Libby has been getting really into writing, drawing and colouring. She loves to create her own little masterpieces and they have to be full of beautiful colours. The 100 Fibracolor Colori felt tips are perfect for her. The tips are conical in shape, so she can create a fine line of just 2mm, right up to a broad stroke of 4.5mm.
They are also totally washable like the baby colouring pens. This means that if they get on her clothes, they come off in a normal wash. It also means that when they get on her hands, it only takes soap and water to get them off. I find that with colouring, Libby always ends up with pen on her as she puts her hand in the bit she’s just coloured in. It’s great being able to just send her upstairs to wash her hands rather than having to get the scrubbing brush out.
Double ended felt tips
For children who find it difficult to get a fine line with a conical nib, Fibracolor have developed the double-ended felt tip. These have a thin end with a 2mm nib, and the other end is 4.5mm for broader lines. Both ends are exactly the same colour and there are a total of 24 colours in the pack.
Libby loves the novelty of the double-ended pens and finds them easy to use for colouring in. She has only recently managed to colour in neatly. Using these pens seems like the childhood equivalent of using a roller for the walls and a small brush for cutting-in the edges. She has learnt to be careful, drawing patterns and creating her own little masterpieces, staying in the lines to fill in blocks of colour.
When it’s all about the detail
If children are creating pictures or patterns that need precision without blocks of colour, the Fibracolor Colorito thin point pens are ideal. These ones come in a box of 36, offering a rainbow of colours. Like the other Fibracolor pens, these don’t stain and they wash off really easily.
Lia is still a bit young for these pens as the precision tip is too delicate for her rather enthusiastic colouring. But for Libby, I have found that they’ve really encouraged her creativity. She’s never been a child who would spend a long time on crafts but she will now happily sit and draw or even write for a considerable amount of time.
When you just need a little bit of magic
To get children interested in colouring and writing, sometimes it takes a little more than just plain pens. Libby had never heard of magic pens before, and strangely neither had my husband. But the Fibracolor colour changing magic pens are really quite exciting.
Each pen has its own colour, and the lid is a different colour. Using the magic white pen, you can change the original colour to the colour on the lid. Libby loves these pens and has been really careful to look after them ‘so the magic doesn’t get lost’. Lia hasn’t had a look in with them at all, but I’m sure her time will come when she’s a bit older.
Felt tips meet watercolours
The Fibracolor Aquarello pens are a totally new concept for me, and I think they’re brilliant. They are brush tip pens, but they act as both pens and watercolour paints. They are an incredible introduction to watercolour without the mess.
To use them as watercolours, you just add a small amount of water on a paint brush. You can then use them in the same way as ordinary watercolours, creating a wash or a large block of colour. For more precise work, you can use the pens as they are, but the colour is a lot brighter than it is with the water. My girls have also taken to dipping the end of the pen into some water to get the watercolour effect without the use of a paint brush.
The pencil rainbow
As well as the pens, Colour&Fun kindly sent us a huge pack of 192 rainbow colouring pencils. These are great quality pencils that are easy to use and the leads aren’t brittle like some. They easily survive the over-enthusiastic colouring of small children and sharpen well.
There are 12 colours in the box, each one being nice and bright. Every pencil has space for a child to write their name on it. With a box this size of multiple colours, there aren’t even any arguments over both of them wanting the same pencil. What a relief!
Building a robot
Eventually, children want to take crafting to the next level and build something rather than drawing it. The MyBuild toy base defender robot is the perfect challenge for a technically minded child. It has versatile pieces that are compatible with other brands and it contains core bricks that allow you to build on every side.
This is aimed at children aged six and over, so my two are a little bit young for it. The instruction book is really clear, with large pictures and no words to read. As the children were a bit young, I gave this one a go myself. I have to admit I found it quite difficult, but I’m told the average six year old would have coped fine with it. It’s also a great activity for the family to work together on, and something I’ll try with my two when they’re a bit older.
Painting without the mess
My girls love to paint. If they could, they’d get the paints, paper, brushes and water out every day. But clearly, that’s far too much mess and bother. Enter the Little Brian paint sticks. These look a bit like glue sticks and work in the same way. You just take the lid off and dab them straight onto the paper.
The end is quite large on these, meaning they’re no good for precision work. But for children who love painting, they’re just perfect. The girls can now grab the paints and paper and just sit to the table and paint. You can even use them on glass and plastic – or just for drawing around your feet without making a mess!
If you’d like to win a pack of the fabulous Little Brian paint sticks, you can enter using the Rafflecopter below. Please read my competition terms and conditions before entering. Don’t forget to check out my other competitions too, there are some brilliant prizes up for grabs.