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Last year as the festivities were upon us, I wanted some metallic pens that were toddler friendly for arts and crafts to make everything sparkly for Christmas. After looking around at what was available I settled for the Crayola Metallic Markers. I was confident in purchasing these, as even though they weren't the cheapest, I trusted that they would be of a good quality. Crayola are a brand that I am most faithful to, as they produce a wide range of art and craft materials that are non-toxic, safe and durable. Their products are always bright and vivid and that is what I like about them, the fabulous bold colours.
* Crayola Metallic Markers *
The markers are housed in a cardboard outer sleeve, with a plastic inner tray with inserts that hold the pens in place. This is ideal as it keeps the pens together, and makes it easy to store them. However, these card boxes never last long with a toddler. The box provides five different coloured metallic pens which include mauve, purple, silver, gold, green and copper. The pens are suitable for children aged three and up.
The metallic markers feature ventilated caps, and they secure firmly onto the base when in use. The area for gripping the pens is hexagonally shaped to provide a good grip. The nibs look soft, and I did wonder how they would fare when I looked at the chunky but soft looking nibs, as they need to be durable to withstand rough treatment. The pens are of a good quality, they feel very nice in the hand, as they have a smooth finish to them, however, they are reasonably chunky so they are easy for small hands to grasp and manipulate.
* Educational Aspects *
Colouring promotes self expression, colour recognition and cognitive development, as well as developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Drawing and colouring is also a great activity that builds on a child's confidence as well as improving their concentration. The use of bright colours boosts a child's visual senses, and getting creative with crayons allows a child to use their imagination. Colouring and drawing is an important skill, as learning how to grasp and manipulate a crayon is the basis for learning how to write.
* Getting Creative with Sparkle *
My son loves to draw and colour, and he enjoys experiencing different writing instruments, as they feel different when they are dragged over paper, and they leave a different affect. When I offered him a marker from the pack he was eager to try them out, and wasted no time making a wonderful sparkly pattern. The pens glide over paper with ease, leaving a bright and sparkly colourful effect on any surface they meet.
My son likes bold colours, so these were an instant hit, as they create a wonderful sparkly trail on the paper. The markers provide bold colours that have a shimmering metallic affect to them, so they add sparkle to pictures. They don't leave any glittery residue behind, so they are no messier than regular pens in that respect. The ink takes a minute to dry and it will transfer onto skin, however, it easily wipes off just by rubbing it with a piece of tissue, or rinses off with just plain water. The markers can withstand high pressure, and they can be depressed quite firmly without losing the nibs in the barrel, which can often happen with other pens. My son applies quite a lot of pressure when drawing and colouring, and all the nibs have remained intact, which surprised me.
We used the markers to decorate cards and pictures, and also to make Christmas decorations. They certainly added sparkle to everything, and we made a lovely collection of Christmas decorations and pictures throughout the festive period. I was hoping to be able to use them to write Christmas cards with, as I generally use a silver pen, however, I was hoping that these would be suitable. However, as the nibs are quite chunky, unfortunately I was unable to write any Christmas cards with them, as I had hoped to do. I wasn't too disappointed, as they still got plenty of use.
* Expect Your Child to Remain Colourful *
My son enjoys being creative, and he is always in practical play clothes during the day when we are at home, so I expect him to look multicoloured by the end of the day, and this doesn't present a problem to me, this just shows that he has had a good day playing. I have noticed that the markers have stained a few tops, which haven't come out on a regular wash cycle, which doesn't bother me so much, but I can see that would present a problem for some people. This is quite strange, seeing as the ink rubs and washes off the skin with ease, so I was a little surprised to see that his clothes remained marked.
Another gripe with these markers is that they dry out quite quickly if the cap is left off for any length of time. I gave my son the blue pen to draw with, as I knew that we wouldn't need that colour as much for decorating and making Christmas decorations, I thought he had exhausted the ink, as when he had finished I noticed the nib had worn slightly on the end, and when I tried it the ink was very faint. The next time I let him use the same pen, after he had finished I realized that the reason it had run out of ink was because it had dried out, as my son hadn't used that much ink. That is disappointing, as I can't imagine preschoolers are going to remember to replace the cap after use, and I actually keep the caps in my draw, to prevent them from going into his mouth, as he still mouths his toys at times.
I'm glad that I only bought these for the festive period to add sparkle to pictures and to make decorations and the likes. However, I'm not sure if I would opt to buy these pens in the future, although they leave lovely bright markings on paper and any other material, the fact that they dry out means that they won't last long. Plus they are fairly expensive, especially as they won't last long with an eager enthusiastic toddler.
I must say that I haven't actually looked at buying these since last Christmas, as they are special pens. Now that Christmas is upon us again, I have bought the Crayola glitter gel pens instead of these metallic markers, just for a change, and for the fact that they were cheaper. These metallic markers are great for this time of year for creative children that want to make Christmas cards and the likes.
These pens provide youngsters with vivid colours that have a magic metallic sparkle to them, making them ideal for art and crafts, and especially for creating cards.
Manufacturers recommended age 3+
My nephew is three years old and is fond of exploring his artistic side, helped with the use of stickers, glitter and coloured pens/pencils. As this interest of his develops, I have purchased a whole host of artistic 'tools' to assist in this sort of playtime, with many items being purchased at Christmas time last year. One of the items that I purchased at that time was from the well-known "Crayola" brand, namely the pack of "Metallic Markers." I paid around £3 for the pack of markers in December last year from Amazon (www.amazon.co.uk), but this original pack had suffered a few casualties by way of a couple of the pens losing their lids and drying out. Therefore, when I recently noticed the same pack of pens available for a reduced price of £1.75 in a local branch of Sainsbury's recently, I snapped up the pens as a replacement for the originals.
As @ the time of writing (May 2013), the pack of Crayola Metallic Markers can be purchased from www.amazon.co.uk for the cost of £3.80, with free delivery.
The pens are housed in a thin cardboard box that is oblong in shape and has the usual Crayola branding in bright colours of yellow and green. Inside the outer box lies a black 'tray' that is made of thin plastic, and each pen has its own 'slot' in this tray which allows for easy storage. My young nephew is able to remove and replace the pens by himself easily, and we find that the pack's design is very suitable, allowing each pen to be 'housed' neatly within.
There are five Metallic Markers contained in the box; silver, gold, blue, green and purple. Each pen is quite thick, allowing for an easy grip, making them ideal for youngsters' small hands. The pens are not suitable for youngsters under the age of 3, which is presumably down to the lids presenting a possible choking hazard.
The pens are self-coloured, which allows them to be rather more 'child-friendly' than other felt tip pens that are in my nephews collection that all look alike, save for a small 'band' of colour at the end. My nephew gets impatient at times when selecting such pens, finding it tiresome to inspect the end of each pen before making his selection. The Crayola Metallic Markers, in comparison, are easily selected thanks to the bold colours of plastic used to correspond perfectly with the pens' respective ink colours.
Removing the lids from the end of the pen is easy for my nephew to undertake by himself, and doing so reveals the pen's nib, of course. This is a sort of triangular shape and it has a 'chunky' look to it, which I find makes colouring in very easy for my nephew to do. Where other felt tip pens with a thinner nib will require more effort - and time! - to colour in larger areas, these are 'filled' more easily and quickly with the use of a thicker-nibbed pen, such as the Metallic Markers. Ideal then, for an impatient youngster who has little time to spend on such matters, it would seem! After use, the lids are replaced easily on the end of the pen, although I did note that my nephew was waiting for a loud, audible 'click' as the lid was pressed securely in place. This is something he has been taught to look out for at nursery, as it prevents the pens from drying out, of course. There is really only a sort of dull, quieter clicking noise present as the lids are secured, although we can still hear it..... just.
As with any craft-like activities that are undertaken with a young companion, there is always a bit of mess present during our playtime. In the case of the Metallic Markers, this usually presents itself by way of a variety of colourful ink marks all over my nephews fingers and hands. I have found that these come off very easily with soap and hot water, and there is no need to scrub the skin to remove all traces. Similarly, my nephew managed to get an ink mark on the leather fabric of a footstool he was using to lean on, and I was able to remove this small mark with the use of a couple of baby wipes. Based on our experiences in this regard, I do think these particular Markers are quite suitable for use by youngsters, finding that any mess is easily cleaned up in a jiffy.
In terms of the pens' performance, I do find that the colours included in the pack are quite bright, with my favourite shades being the green and the purple. I find that the gold colour included in the pack is rather dull, which is a shame, as the end result resembles what is better described as being brown rather than gold. There seems to be very little in the way of metallic 'sheen' from this colour too, with this effect being slightly more noticeable in some of the brighter colours, particularly the blue and the purple. Even so, I will admit to finding the 'metallic' element of these Markers to be slightly disappointing, as I was expecting them to provide something of a more shiny effect than they actually do. I can't say that the ink produced at the end result is particularly eye-catching either, although I can't say that my nephew has any grumbles where these pens are concerned. He loves them, and will often produce them during our craft times together, with him even refusing to put them in his large plastic 'barrel' where the rest of his colouring pens and pencils are stored. When I asked him why he does this, he said they were his 'special' pens. I can only assume then, that these pens offer something rather impressive to my nephew that others in his collection don't.
As my nephew has a newer set of these pens, together with half of an older set, I was curious to see how the older set fared in terms of their ink. Out of the remaining three pens in the original set, only one is dried out to the point of being nearly useless. The other two are still performing well enough to be used up. As these pens are used so often, and have been for the past five months or so, I feel that they have performed rather well in terms of quality. I do therefore feel that they offer value for money, particularly if purchased for around the £3 mark or less.
In summary, I do recommend the pack of Crayola Metallic Markers, particularly as they are something of a favourite in my nephew's vast collection. I find they are convenient to use and handle by youngsters and adults alike, and will happily purchase a new pack for my nephew when his current set need replacing.
The Crayola Metallic Markers were my favourite felt tips. I say were as unfortunately only one colour is still left working. I have had them for four or five years though.
There are five colours in a pack. Gold, silver, purple, dark green and icy blue. I find these colours look very Christmassy therefore I have used them a lot in Christmas cards. As they are metallic they are really shiny and very pretty adding to the Christmas feel.
The pens have thick ends which means any writing has to be quite big but it still works. I use them a lot to colour in larger rubber stamp images which adds a special shine to the cards.
The ink flows out with ease and as I mentioned, and lasts a long time.
I am not sure whether these are washable as I threw the box in the bin. Most crayola products are washable though but I will confirm after I buy a new pack.
The packaging is thin cardboard and a plastic tray inside which keeps the pens in place. This helps not to loose them.
The outside of the pens are made from plastic and are entirely the colour of the ink inside. This is useful as it makes it easy to see the colour even if the lids are on the wrong pen.
The lids are reasonably tight and don't come off unless they are taken off. The pens also don't become dry as they are completely sealed by the lid.
The pens can be bought for around £3 which is a bargain. They are recommended for those over the age of three.
I love these pens and will be getting some more the next time I see them.