“ Brand: Early Learning Centre / Type: Crayons „
Although the review does state 36 crayons, the ones that I purchased from Early Learning Centre contained only 20. As these are the only ones for sale I take it that they have cut back. These crayons come in 10 colours with 2 of each colour. This is handy as you can split the pack and share it with someone else, as in my case my daughter.
These crayons are roughly around 2 inches tall, but are quite chunky. Perfect for those tiny chubbie fingers, I really couldn't imagine my grandson being able to break these is half. Coming with no paper wrapped around them they are really quite plain. They come in a variety of colours with some being really bright and others in the usual black, brown, green ect...
At first I was worried about him putting the crayons into his mouth, but so far the nearest it has got to a mouth is mine, when he tries to put it on my lips like a lipstick. They draw onto the paper really easy without having to press to hard, I always put the piece of paper onto a plastic oblong white tray that he does sometimes seem to draw more on than the paper. This soon wipes over with a wet wipe and is clean again.
These are in the ELC Bits and Basics section and are aimed at 2 years upwards, but I think as long as the child is being watched a much younger age (18 months) can use these with no problems. These crayons are really really sturdy and we have had them put into pots and thrown about, a Little Tykes car has driven over them and I have trodden on one on more than one occassion (ouch!) and still they stay intact all in one piece.
I did buy these a few weeks ago when Early Learning Centre was doing 20% of their toys, so when I was ordering some Christmas pressies I ordered these as well. Being priced at £2.00 I received them for £1.60, I think that the full price is excellent for these crayons, as we have had a lot of fun sitting down and scribbling away. I'm now looking to purchasing their chunky chalks ready for next spring, so that he can go and draw on the patio then I can hose it over later!!
I bought these crayons for my grandchildren and we are very pleased with them. They have given us all endless hours of fun and creativity.
They come in a plastic tub and you get lots, all different colours. It's nice to see a good variety of colours instead of just the usual bold ones. In this tub you even get a white one which always proves interesting and means we have to explore new ways of getting creative- using different coloured paper etc.
The crayons are very chubby so that they are easy for young children to hold and also it means that if your child throws them or stumbles upon them they will not snap. My grandchildren are quite heavy handed and none of these crayons have snapped yet, they have a few teeth marks in but that is all!
They don't have paper round them either which makes them more practical when you are using them with young children.
They work well too as they are good quality you do not need to apply much pressure when putting them on the paper.
In my opinion these are ideal crayons to use with young children, the best way to introduce your little ones to drawing. Very pleased with these.
ELC Chubby Crayons are just what they say on the pack.....no more and no less. Each pack contains 20 wax crayons (I don't think they do the pack with 36 crayons anymore) of a variety of colours, namely purple, red, yellow, green, navy blue, pale blue, medium blue, black, orange and brown. The main traditional primary and secondary colours are represented. The crayons are bought in a cardboard package which aren't great to keep them stored in and so we actually use an old biscuit tin to store the crayons in. The pack costs £1.50 - which I feel is a very good price for 20 crayons.
The wax crayons are indeed chunky and they are about 3 inches in length and so they are an ideal size and shape for little people to hold on to. My son has been using these since he was about 18 months old (although the recommendation is 2 years). The end of the crayon is tapered to a triangular wedge which does not snap even when pressed hard. Infact the whole crayon is really sturdy and my son hasn't actually managed to snap any of the crayons - which he does try his best to achieve! When used, the colours are bright enough - although we have used crayons in the past where the colours are more vibrant. These crayons are certainly not suitable for fine artwork and because of the chunkiness of the crayons it is not always possible to "stay within the lines" and so slightly older children may get frustrated with them.
These crayons do not wipe off well - as I found when my son decided to decorate the lounge paintwork! In particular, these crayons seem to be particularly waxy and I think it is this which means they do not wash out very well.
Overall, these crayons are fine for young children but I think they would be limiting for children over the ages of about 4 years old.
As someone who is very house proud I have been very pleased that my twin boys go to a lot of toddler groups and sessions where messy and creative play is a part of these sessions. My boys have regularly experienced drawing, painting (with fingers) and sticking hands into various sorts of gloopy mixtures but this has not been in the comfort of our own home, so as a parent I have not had to worry about trying to keep two paint wielding toddlers in one place rather than allow them to draw on our cream walls when on my own with them. But over the summer holidays many of the groups we go to do not run and with the lack of good weather I found myself searching for indoor activities. So I decided to bite the bullet and stock up of "creative supplies". One of my first purchases was the ELC Chubby Crayons.
***ELC Chubby Crayons***
Dooyoo state that the Crayons are a 36 pack however ELC stores sell these crayons in packs of 20 which is the product my review is about.
The ELC Chubby crayons include 20 thick wax crayons. These are around 5cm in length and about 1cm in diameter. The tips of the crayons are not to a point like they have been sharpened with a traditional sharpener; instead they are tapered so from the side are a rounded triangle shape. The pack of 20 includes 10 different colours so you get 2 of each colour. These are red, orange, yellow, green, brown, black, dark blue, light blue, mid blue and purple.
The crayons come in a cardboard pack which is rectangular and has a cut out section on the front so you can see the crayons inside the pack. I disposed of the cardboard packing and keep these in a pencil case as lining the crayons back up in the box was a chore and even only after 2 or 3 uses the box was becoming worn and ripped.
The crayons are available from ELC and Mothercare stores and online on both the ELC and Mothercare websites. The pack of 20 crayons are priced at £1.50 and the pack of 36 crayons (which are only available online) are priced at £3.00.
ELC state that the crayons are suitable from age 2 years and over.
***Playing With Them***
I gave these crayons to my boys to play with when they were 17 months old and they had been playing with similar crayons at toddler groups from around 13 months old. The age range suggested by ELC is from 2 years and on the website ELC state that these "present a choking hazard due to small parts". As a new parent this did concern me slightly and I know some people would not give these to a child under two but personally I feel that with close supervision these do not present danger to my boys and I actually feel that I would be stifling their development by not giving them the opportunity for creative play activities. The choking hazard is that pieces could break off from the crayon however if you are watching your child carefully this should not be a real danger.
Most of the ELC art materials state from age 2 or 3 years and I feel that is to cover the brand from a legal point of view and not because children under 3 years should be using these materials with close supervision.
My boys have experience of using crayons so when I first gave them the ELC Chubby Crayons to play with at 17 months old, they knew exactly what these were and how to use them. I did feel the size and shape of the ELC Chubby Crayons are perfect for younger toddlers who do not have a lot of experience in using crayons. The crayons my boys used at toddler groups were longer but thinner and I feel this made it more difficult for them to grip and I found they often broke the crayons as they would not be so coordinated with their movements and end up hitting the crayon onto the paper as it was too long causing it to snap. With the ELC Chubby Crayons the crayon looked more comfortable in their hand and almost immediately they were very coordinated with their drawing movements because the 5cm crayons were not too long.
I also find that because of the design of the "tip" of the crayons there is less chance of breakages or pieces snapping off the crayons. Because the tip is quite a wide rounded wedge shape rather than a point when a child uses excess force the point does not break off. I do find because the tip of the crayon is so wide when pressed down on paper my boys seem to cover quite a big area with not a lot of force or effort. I would say the downside of the crayons is that when drawing with them it takes a lot of effort to be accurate when drawing with them and my friends three ear old actually comments that the crayons make it difficult to stay within the lines when he is colouring in pictures in his colouring book. But when he does colour in with the crayons he can cover a large area with a particular colour very quickly. Obviously at 20 months old accuracy is not even a thought to my boys!
The range of colours within the pack is brilliant for basic drawing and as a parent of two children it is very helpful to have two of the same colour crayon. Already at 20 months old my boys want what the other one has so this minimises the amount of squabbles which I'm sure will continue for many years. In terms of colouring I do find that when using white paper some of the colours require greater effort to colour in with than others. The brown, black, blue and green crayons are very easy to use and with only a touch on the paper we find these colours are transferred and look vibrant on the paper. With some of the lighter colours particularly the orange and yellow crayons they require a child to press quite hard in order for the crayons colour to be transferred onto paper. This does not discourage my boys but I do find that the drawings displayed on our fridge tend to contain a greater amount of darker colours.
When using the crayons the main danger to a young child is that they choke on the crayon which is possible if pieces break off the crayon. My boys do find a fun game is to drop the crayons from their mini table onto our laminate floor or tiled kitchen floor. So far none of the crayons have broken which is reassuring even though they are supervised directly with the crayons. Personally even as my boys get over 2 years old I will still be closely supervising them because I know my boys well and can imagine our light coloured walls would provide a perfect canvas for them given the opportunity.
I also find supervising my boys is necessary as they tend to put the crayons in their mouth and in each crayon there are a few visible teeth marks. The crayons are non-toxic and I discourage the crayons going in their mouth (in case they bite large chunks off) but this does not stop them and they do tend to "taste" each of the different coloured crayons to check they are all the same flavour. The amount of times they try to bite the crayons in each creative session is decreasing as they get older but this is quite common for younger toddlers to do after watching toddlers at the groups we go to.
Watching my boys play with these crayons and watching them develop creativity definitely outweighs the "danger" of giving them a toy which is recommended for older children (however in my search all brands of crayon has an age range of age 2 years plus) and I feel they really enjoy our creative play times with these crayons. Watching them express themselves actually tells me a lot about their personalities and my more boisterous twin has a more aggressive and fast drawing style where our quieter twin actually takes more care and precision when drawing. I also feel over the last 3 months their coordination and the way they hold the crayon has improved.
Not only are the crayons durable I do find that they do not wear down too quickly. After 3 months of almost daily use by two children you can barely notice the crayons have been used and all of the crayons have a reasonably sharp tip. I do think this is because the crayons have quite a hard shiny waxy feel to them rather than a soft sticky wax feel many cheaper crayons have. Although creative play can be messy I would not consider drawing with these crayons a "messy" activity and no clothing or furniture has been ruined (yet).
These have been an excellent purchase and I would consider the ELC Chubby Crayons to be a staple item in a child's creative play kit. The crayons come in a wide range of colours and are durable and well designed so that they do not wear down too quickly and the shape and size make them easy to hold for even little hands. At £1.50 for so many crayons from a quality brand like ELC I would say these are a bargain. My only criticism is that you will probably need to purchase a pencil case or find a storage tub for these crayons as the original packaging is flimsy and it is time consuming to put the crayons back into this box.
Although my boys are under 2 years old I am perfectly happy with my boys using these crayons as I am supervise them constantly and would advise other parents to do as your child's creative canvas may spread to the walls of your house!
Lately my 15 month old son has been showing some interest in his older sister's drawing materials; mainly as a medium with which he tries to 'decorate' the kitchen floor, but as standard crayons are too fragile, felt pens too messy, and coloured pencils too darn pointy-ended for him, I have not been encouraging this. When I read a dooyoo review of these ELC 'stubby' crayons however, it seemed like these would be a good choice for him.
I find Early Learning Centre a bit pricey as a toy shop, if I'm honest, so we generally go in mainly to 'use the facilities' - purchasing only a small pocket-money type toy to save embarrassment on the way out. So these crayons, which cost £1.50 for a box of 20 were right up my street.
The crayons are maybe 5cm long and over a centimetre wide - they're 'chubby'-style and clearly intended for little hands to clutch. The 'business' end is sharpened to a blunted / rounded point, but they're tough enough in the 'stem' part to withstand being thrown about; neither do they snap into pieces when undue pressure is exerted upon them. With inexpensive art materials - especially crayons - you often find that they don't mark paper terribly well or strongly, and while I didn't find these QUITE as effective for colouring with as e.g. a market-leading brand such as 'Crayola' they were still very good. Even with his fairly random hand movements over the paper, these crayons were soft enough that my son was able to make a few good, sweeping marks.
The colour range that you get in the smaller box (the crayons are available in two sizes) seemed slightly biased towards darker shades - dark green, blues, brown, purple and black, and some of the bright colours - the red and yellow for example, seemed to be 'fluorescent' type colours which looked unusual when the crayons were in the box. Used on paper however the colours were more like generic crayon colours than peculiar shades.
The only negative point about these crayons I would say concerns the container they are sold in. This is a fairly flimsy cardboard box - which has a card hole in the front through which you can see the crayons inside. Unfortunately the viewing hole is so large that the crayons can fall out through it when you're replacing them inside and the box is such a temporary structure that I think we only managed to 'reload' the crayons in it once, before it got stamped / torn flat. But what can you expect for £1.50!
Ok, so the recommended minimum age for these crayons is two years, but I really don't think there's any reason why younger children should not be able to use them, with adequate adult supervision. In fact I'd go as far as to say that as soon as a child (or baby) is able to sit unaided and has a good pincer grip, then they're old enough to start learning to express themselves through art. Freddy is only nine months old, has pretty good fine motor control and loves painting and drawing. When I started stocking up on different art equipment for him, the ELC was my first port of call, simply because I was looking for quality art supplies, that were also non-toxic. These crayons were one of the range of different art materials we bought, along with chunky chalks and finger paints.
Now before I go any further, I have to say that while I have bought these crayons in the 36 packs previously, they are now sold in packs of 20, they are exactly the same crayons, you just get fewer crayons in slightly fewer shades in a pack. But the good news is that this smaller pack actually works out slightly cheaper at £1.50, while the 36 crayons cost £3. If you do want a greater range of colours then the 36 pack is available online, but don't forget to factor in the £4.95 delivery charge.
For the purposes of this review I will now be concentrating solely on the 20 pack of crayons as these are the ones we are using now. The crayons come packed in cardboard box, that appears quite sturdy to begin with, but soon begins to tear. The nice thing about this box is that it's manufactured from 70% recycled cardboard, but even so I would have preferred them to have come in a tub. Although there are twenty crayons within the box, but you don't actually get twenty different colours, as there are two of each shade. There's still a fairly good selection of colours though, including black, red, orange, yellow, green, two shades of blue, two of purple and brown. So your child will certainly have no difficulty drawing a rainbow, or a picture of a tree.
Each of the crayons is the perfect size for little hands, being about five centimetres in length and one and a half centimetres in diameter. Rather than being sharpened into a point, each crayon is topped by a wedge shape, meaning it's more difficult for the child to make accurate marks, but easier for them to cover large areas with colour. Just as you would imagine, the crayons are non-toxic and so while I wouldn't recommend feeding them to your child, if they do accidentally get eaten, they won't do any real harm. The packaging also warns that these may stain, so it's a good idea to keep them away from your walls. Although I must say that Freddy is too young and too closely supervised with these to have decorated the walls, I have previously found that baby wipes do about the best job of removing waxy marks. Another warning reminds us that the crayons may break into small pieces, which could cause a choking hazard and so your child should be supervised.
==Mini Artist At Work==
Unlike when he uses paints or chalks, I don't generally bother putting an apron on Freddy when he uses his crayons, as these really don't make a mess. Freddy finds it really easy to hold these crayons and make marks on paper with them. As with most things, Freddy has tried to eat the crayons, and unlike his chalks, he likes the taste of these, so I can't leave him alone with them for even a minute. Whereas his chalks work best on dark coloured paper, these crayons work best on light or white paper. When using plain white paper (we use cheap printer paper), even using the lightest of touches, Freddy can make marks and the colours are bright and true. Freddy's favourite way of making marks on the paper is to 'stab' with the crayon and so far not one of the crayons has broken, even when he's been at his most enthusiastic.
As far as I can tell these crayons wear down at about the same rate as other brands (such as Crayola), although the wedge tip rather than point does mean that the wearing down process is a little slower to start with. As far as I know, the ELC doesn't sell a sharpener to fit these crayons, and they don't fit into standard crayon sharpeners, so once they are blunt then they are going to stay blunt.
==More Than Just Drawing==
Although at the moment we are really only using these crayons for basic drawing, as Freddy gets older we will be using them in a few other ways for other art projects. The chunky shape makes these crayons ideal for making rubbings, they're easy to hold on their side even for quite young children and the box makes them easy to carry on trips out. So we'll be able to use them to make rubbings all sorts of bark, which is a lovely way of introducing a little bit of nature science with art.
Another way of using the crayons is to draw a pattern on a large piece of paper (preferably the same colour as the crayon) and then 'washing' over the pattern with watered down paint. This will give a new twist to your child's art work as the paint doesn't stick to the wax, meaning they can create some spectacular results. With Easter coming, slightly older children could use the crayons to make some unusual Easter decorations (although they will need lots of your help). Firstly you will need to hard boil some eggs, then after the eggs have cooled right down your child can draw patterns on them with the crayons. The final step is to mix some food dye with water and then while wearing protective gloves (such as the ones that come in hair dye kits), you can dip the eggs in the dye, which will stick to the egg shell everywhere except where the child has drawn their patterns.
Just as with any other art equipment these crayons can be used to help your child develop in so many different ways. Firstly and most obviously they will help your child to develop their fine motor and hand-eye coordination as they slowly learn to control the marks they make on the paper. As your child's drawing skills develop so will their ability to create pictures that actually look recognisable, and you can start encouraging them to develop their observational and copying skills. If you talk to them as they draw, you can also use these crayons to help them develop their colour recognition and conversational skills. Finally if you use these crayons with other media, they can be used to enhance your child's understanding of the world around them (by making rubbings for example). But most importantly, these crayons are fun to use.
Although The Early Centre tells us that these crayons are suitable for children above two years of age, I see absolutely no reason why significantly younger children should not be able to use them, with adequate help and supervision. Freddy is coming up to ten months and has been using these crayons for several weeks now. The crayons are a lovely size for him to hold, and chunky enough to survive his rather enthusiastic stabbing method of drawing. The colours are also bright and while the selection is limited there are plenty of shades for the budding artist (Freddy's favourite is the light purple). The colours also transfer easily to the paper, and the crayons aren't wearing down too fast. I also like the fact that there is two crayons of each colour, as not only means less arguments if more than one child is drawing at the same time, but in Freddy's case it effectively means that they will last twice as long.
My only real complaint is that I would have preferred the crayons to have been packaged in a tub, but at the price I paid that would probably have been far too much to ask. I'm therefore giving these crayons a very healthy five stars out of five and recommending them to the parents of any budding artist.