Toddlers and paint. Usually that’s a messy combination.
But, thanks to the Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors from The Pencil Grip, Inc., mess-free painting is really possible! Everyone was excited to give these sticks of solid tempera paint a try for this review, even me!
We received a pack of six Thin Stix. Each was about the diameter of a glue stick, but longer. The classic color set included:
Here are three of the Thin Stix on a piece of paper, to help you get a better feel for their size:
How We Used Them
The kids hurried to grab paper, and set to work. I loved not having to search for brushes, lay out newspaper, and deal with all the prep that typically comes when the kids ask to paint!
We literally went from opening the box to painting within a minute. The kids really enjoyed painting with these. They reminded me of oil pastels, though the texture was a bit different.
The paint glided nicely onto the paper, and within ninety seconds it was dry. We had so much fun! And we were lying on the living room floor painting. I wasn’t worried about them getting paint everywhere, because everything was contained. There were no containers to dump, or wet paint brushes to roll around.
We could focus on the creating instead of worrying about how long clean up was going to take. Because clean up was super simple. Pop the caps back onto the Thin Stixs, put them back with the other art supplies, and stack our papers. I didn’t have tons of paper drying on the kitchen counters! It was amazing!
Here are a few of the projects the kids completed:
Have you ever made one of these stained glass pictures? You basically start with black, and draw some crazy lines that intersect. They can be curved or straight. Then you fill in all the spaces you created with color.
Sydney decided to draw an apple tree. She did the green of the tree first, then the trunk while the green was drying. Then she could go back and add the red without smearing. She did the same thing with the flower, so she wouldn’t smear the red and green.
Here’s Ellie’s picture. She figured out how to turn the Thin Stix on edge a bit to make a smaller edge that can be used for an outline.
Simon also got in on the fun. Painting with Simon is usually a messy ordeal. He gets so excited and forgets he’s holding a brush and paint goes flying. And it gets on his hands because he picks it up to show me.
But, he stayed neat this time and so did the house!
Thin Stix are recommended for ages three and up. But, Brynna (age 2) wanted to paint too. She quickly figured it out.
Now, not all two-year-olds would be ready for this product. If your child still puts everything in the mouth, it’s not a good fit. So use your judgement, but just know that at least one younger child had success!
What Did We Think?
I loved the Thin Stix so much that I already paid for and received another set! Our first one got used rather quickly since the kids all wanted to paint for their art project during quiet time. I rarely let them paint because I use quiet time to work on my business and I don’t want to have a huge mess to deal with before afternoon snack. But, painting was now an option thanks to this product.
When I ordered the set, I went with the Metallix colors. They add a beautiful glittery shine to every picture, and my girls especially loved those.
The next time I order, I’m just going for the big set. (<= aff. link.) It's more large family friendly, containing 12 classic color, 6 neon, and 6 metallix. It'll be perfect for summer painting fun!
Note: I still believe there is a lot of value in actually painting with a brush and paints. The muscles used are different. It’s a different skill and an important one for kids to learn.So we will absolutely still be painting the “old-fashioned” way too. But, the Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors and all the other sets let us add more paint into our homeschool. And art is a great way to unleash the creativity in your child!
So how exactly do you have mess free painting with toddlers? You buy some Thin Stix and use those! 😀