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Our house is being taken over by Crayola products! We have always found them to be very good, we have only had one disappointment so now that it's the summer holidays Hope and I have been buying lots of things to help keep her entertained but in a creative way as possible so she can learn. I bought her this colour by numbers set recently from Amazon for just £2.55 which I think is a very good price to pay just for the colours alone! What you get Within this set you get pens and pictures. I was originally looking at painting by numbers but when I saw you can get colour by numbers I thought they would be more appropriate for her age and also less messy. I find that paints can end up every where and it's more of a big clean up operation after Hope has used them. She also has less control over a paint brush and so she would be better at colouring in smaller pictures using pens rather than paints so this looked ideal. Within the book there are 16 pages with a variety of pictures to colour in. These range from pictures of fish to of planes. There is a variety for both girls and boys. Some pictures have very small details to colour in like the patterns on the fish and so this may be difficult for some to be able to stay in the lines but it is at least a challenge I suppose! You get 6 pens in total which have numbers clearly marked on their sides. These pens are: red, blue, yellow, brown, green and orange. The pens are kept in a little plastic package on the front of the book which is very practical. What you do This is a really easy concept and one I remember learning when I was little, I really enjoyed painting by numbers. Each picture has numbers in the various parts of them and those numbers match up to each pen. The idea is that you colour in those areas the same colour number as is on the pen. At first Hope found this really difficult to understand and she grew frustrated as she just wanted to colour in, she didn't want to follow instructions and got a bit upset so I let her colour but then eventually she came round to the idea and with some encouragement and help she got the hang of it and enjoyed it. Practical issues Hope found it hard to adjust to not just being able to freely colour away and would sometimes argue that a different colour would look best and she would get a bit upset. It made me wonder whether this was actually as fun as it was meant to be, it's no good if it upsets a child! Also some of the parts to colour in are very small and Hope really struggled to stay within the lines especially because the nibs of the pens are not very thin so it's hard to actually colour in finer details in a precise manner. The pens are quite chunky so good for them to hold, Hope hasn't had any problem getting a good grip and colouring away with them. They are also really clearly marked with the number and the colour on which is good so she can easily see which pen she needs. She began to find it quite fun trying to spot the colour she needs and would quite happily show me that she had chosen the right one. She did however grow quite bored of it after a while and wouldn't play with it for very long I think probably because it required more concentration than she wanted to give it and would much prefer to just colour away like normal without having to follow instructions. Education One of the reasons for me buying this was to help Hope recognise her numbers. When she left preschool the only comment that was negative on her report was that she needs to build confidence in number recognition so I hoped that this would help her. The idea of having to look for numbers and then find them on the pen was one which I thought would help her and I do think it has. The numbers do only go up to 6 so it's not overwhelming and daunting for her so it made it much easier for her to spot the ones she needed. She has also been trying to learn to have better control when holding the pen and to colour in more neatly which is really important as this will help her when she has to make her handwriting neater too. This will also help children to concentrate and be focussed when colouring instead of just idling scribling away. In Hope's case she didn't really enjoy this concept but it is definitely something which can help a child and prepare them for when they enter school. Opinion These pens are very good quality and they washed off Hope's hands very well. I think just for the pens alone I would quite happily pay that price. Hope has used these pens a lot in the last few days and has used them in lots of her colouring books and they remain in good condition. They are nice and bright and easy to use so they are great. The book has good quality paper and the pictures are a nice variety. I do like the concept of this and think it's a better choice than painting by numbers for someone of Hope's age. The only problem with this is that for someone like Hope it can lose it's appeal quite quickly as they don't want to have to follow rules whilst colouring and want to be more free which I can understand really. I think perhaps the pictures should be a little more basic or some smaller options so that it's less daunting and challenging for a young child. The recommended age is 3+ which I think is slightly young given the level of detail and small areas to colour on some pictures. If it's aimed at such young children then the pictures should be more basic. It is a good idea, it just needs a few tweaks and then I think it would capture Hope's attention better.
When it was my younger daughters birthday a few weeks ago we bought this for our elder daughter, not as a present so that she didn't get jealous but as a reward for behaving and not being jealous over her sisters toys, she was very happy at the end of the day when she realised she had a little present too. I bought the set from Amazon and it is created by Crayola, for all my daughter is 5 years old and knows her numbers she has started getting lazy with her numbers so I thought this would be a good item for her to have and just to remind her how important numbers are. The set cost me £3.99 with free delivery so I thought it was a pretty decent price and being from Crayola I expected it to be great quality. The set comes with 16 different pictures to colour in and 6 different pens to colour them in with, you get red, blue, green, yellow, brown and orange. Each pen is white in colour with the lid being the colour of the ink, on the length of the pen there is a little number from 1 to 6 on it in the same colour as the pen is. The idea of the pictures is exactly like painting by numbers you simply match the number on the pen to the number on the picture and colour the section in, my daughter did argue a little at first when she wanted to colour a part of the picture a different colour but I explained it to her and she agreed to do it properly. The pens are pretty chunky making them easy for little hands to hold, the set is recommended for ages 3 and up but my 2 year old uses the pens although obviously she wouldn't be able to match up the numbers yet. Being from Crayola the pens are washable which is a big thing in my house as neither of my girls are very careful with colouring however the pens don't wash off the skin very easily. The pictures are pretty simple items such as flowers and fish and the outlines are all black and pretty thick and bold. The paper that the pictures are on is really good quality, it is bright white in colour and the pages feel a decent thickness. My daughter loved this set and she completed it all within a bout a week, I am now on the look out for a set like this with more numbers to work with as she enjoyed it so much. I would recommend the set and have actually since bought it again and put it away for when my younger daughter is old enough as she loves colouring in too.
** Crayola Colour By Numbers With 6 Pens ** I loved Crayola sets as a child and they are still going strong 20 years later. They have to be one of the most famous arts and crafts brands around and I expect their products to be of good quality. This colour by numbers set comes with 16 different pages to colour in and 6 chunky pens. It comes in a cardboard package which is quite exciting to open. It is very bright and enticing so should make any child smile. ** Price & Availability ** I bought these for £4.00 from Very.co.uk but you can find them popping up everywhere, especially on the lead up to Christmas. I have seen them for £3.49 on Amazon but in other online shops they cost as much as £7.05 which is extortionate! ** 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Go Go Go! ** As well as painting, my niece loves to draw. She is 5 years old but patience isn't her virtue (a bit like me!), so she tends to colour in a little bit and then turn the page. So on her recent visit last week I thought these would be a great little thing to keep her occupied. This product is exactly like painting by numbers, where each colour is labelled with a number and the child has to colour in the corresponding sections. There are 16 pages so quite a lot for my niece to get through and she liked to go through the entire pack before deciding which once to complete. So for example, there was a little flower that had the number 1 inside each petal, and this corresponded to the red pen which had number 1 printed on it. The 6 pens that are included are numbered several times on the actual pen. The bright lids and coloured numbers make it easy to choose which the correct one is. The colours are bright although my niece was slightly disappointed there was no pink. The chunky barrels make it easy for her to hold and would make it easier for younger children as well. The pictures that were made to colour in were quite simple with relatively thick black outlines making it easy for my niece to stay in the lines and would be great as a guide for younger children. She chose to fill out one section of the picture first and said out loud the numbers as she did them. She is fine with her numbers now but it would be quite a good learning tool for a child, helping them count from 1 to 6. Another way could be to challenge them to do all the '1' sections first and then all the '2's and so on. My niece didn't quite finish the pictures as she did get bored after about two thirds of the way through. The exciting of matching the numbers got a bit boring for her. But she need go back later in the day and chose another picture to start again. The ink in these pens is washable but luckily my niece didn't get any on her clothes. She did get it on her hands and it didn't come off straight away even with soap and a little scrub. Overall a great little set, it kept my niece amused for about an hour and she enjoyed the fact that she was almost completing a puzzle rather than just colouring. A great alternative to some pens and plain paper or a colouring book. ** IMPORTANT INFO ** Manufacturers recommended age 3+