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We all know how messy children can get with paints, I don't mind my daughter getting messy as long as I've got time to clean her up afterwards. This isn't always practical and when I seen these easy painters from Early Learning Centre, I knew they would be perfect to let my daughter paint, without the hassle of cleaning up lots of mess in a rush afterwards.
These easy painters come from Early Learning Centre and cost just £4, but they often have lots of offers and discount codes so it is quite easy to get them a little cheaper. In each pack you receive five painters, each in a different colour, red, yellow, green, blue and pink.
To get the painters to work properly, before using them you need to give them a shake. Then simply take the lid of and press the nib on the paper, they are almost like felt tip pens, but with paint instead of ink. Once the painters are in use, you will find the colours aren't all that bright, we first tried using these on coloured paper but it was useless as the colours were far to light to show up against the different coloured paper. However, on plain paper the colours do show up, just not as bright as you would expect when you look at the different coloured lids for the painters. It doesn't matter how much pressure you use to get the painters to work, the same colour will come out however hard or soft you press the nib on the paper.
I'm a little disappointed at the different range of colours, normally having the red, yellow and blue primary colours in a paint set would be fine, as you can mix them up to create more colours. This isn't possible with this set though as pretty much as soon as you have used the painters the paint has pretty much dried on the paper, meaning they cannot be mixed.
The whole point of me buying these easy painters was to make clear up time as hassle free as possible so that my daughter can still do crafty activities if we have plans to go out soon after. I must say, these painters are fantastic and are pretty much mess free. After being used, simply put the lids back on and put them back in the craft box, it's pretty much as simple as that. Even though I try and lay newspaper down when my daughter paints, I sometimes forget, if a little of this paint goes on the table it is easy to simply wipe off with a wet cloth, no scrubbing needed. That's it, ready to leave the house and the easy painters are ready for the next use.
My daughter loves these easy painters, granted not as much as she likes the traditional paint pot and brush, but still enjoys using them all the same. The quite chunky painters mean they are easy for her to get a good grip of and comfortable for her to hold. The different coloured lids for each different coloured painter are fantastic as she can put the lids back onto each painter after she has used them so she is getting an idea of the world of colours. We've had these painters for around four months, I would estimate that we still have over half of the paint inside the painters left, this is incredible given the amount of use they have actually had.
At £4 they are quite expensive for only five different colour easy painters. Saying that though, I definitely feel that they are worth it. The mess free quality of these make them a fantastic craft item for parents and at the same time children enjoy using them too. The amount of paint inside each painter is great and they do last a long time. The only things I would change is make the paint a little brighter on the paper, and create some new colours.
If your looking for an (almost) mess-free way for your child to get creative then the ELC Easy Painters may just be what you are looking for. This set of five chunky, paint filled pens is available for just £4 from your local ELC or online and brings a new dimension to painting. Each pen has a sponge tip hidden beneath it's colour coded screw top cap and works much in the same way as a felt tip. All you (or your child) needs to do is give the pen a good shake and then press the tip onto paper to start the paint flowing and let your creative side free. The paint is extremely runny and flows easily from the tips in a relatively broad line and gravity itself is enough to keep the paint flowing.
The colours within the pack aren't the most vivid or brightest but they show up well on white or quality coloured paper (as long as it isn't too dark). I really wouldn't recommend using these on cheap, coloured activity paper though. We tried them on Wilko Activity paper and it just soaked in and barely showed against the paper. On cheap printer paper they do contrast well and as the paint is so liquid it dries quickly as long as the pen hasn't been squeezed. In fact they dry so quickly that it is almost impossible to blend shades, meaning you are stuck with the blue, yellow, green, pink and red. Once dry the colours are quite muted, almost like water colour rather than poster paint.
Although these painters are recommended for children over the age of three, I've been using these with my 20 month old son, Freddy, over the last six months (under close supervision of course). Preparing the pens for first use was indeed as easy as giving them a good shake and then pressing down on to some paper. Once I'd prepared the pens I got out some various types of paper and let Freddy have free reign creating some masterpieces. The pens are a really good size for Freddy to hold, being about 12cm from base to tip and very chunky with an indent to aid grip. Although he wasn't sure what he was supposed to do with these mini bottles of paint at first, as soon as I showed him that they made marks on the paper he was away.
It appears to only take minimal pressure to use these to paint onto paper, the lightest of touches transfers paint from the sponge tip to the paper. Freddy has no trouble drawing pictures of Daddy (not that they look anything like Daddy, but Freddy assures me that's what they are). I do only tend to give him one colour at a time, allowing him to choose which he wants next (a great way to introduce the names of colours), putting the lids back on the ones that are not being used. By doing this the tips have shown absolutely no sign of drying out over the last six months. While the painters only hold a small (unspecified) amount of paint, as there is no wastage and so they last a very long time. Ours have been used at least weekly for six months and are still half full.
When it comes to cleaning up afterwards, there is indeed, relatively little mess. I do find that Freddy manages to get a little paint on his hands, but this is easy to wash off and there has been the occasional mishap where he has decided to decorate his wooden table, but again this washes off with little effort. As the paint is contained in the pens Freddy hasn't managed to add decorative splats to his clothes, so far, even without an apron (what are you betting that he will next time now I've said that?). The only way I could imagine enough paint coming out of the pens to cause splashing is by them being squeezed, which is something Freddy can't managed. As I've said previously the paint dries quickly, meaning that is doesn't drip from the paper (as long as they are used correctly) and the only paper I find they soak through is the cheap paper from Wilkinsons.
As with any art materials these painters will help your child develop their creativity and learn to express themselves. Although not as versatile as poster paints (they cannot be used for finger painting, sponge painting or paint butterflies) they do added a new dimension to art work. They are also brilliant for those young children who do not like getting their hands dirty, allowing them to create pictures without worrying about getting paint on their hands. As well as encouraging creativity, you can also use the time when your child is using these painters to introduce basic colours as you talk about which colour they are using and allowing them to choose which colour they use next.
Although the recommended age for these painters is between three and ten years old, I do think that those at the older end of the spectrum will find them quite limiting and nowhere nearly accurate enough. I also feel the lower age is playing things a little safe and indeed feel that these painters are ideal for children from about a year onwards. Yes they will need to be supervised, but I always supervise art time anyway, and they will need the caps removed and replaced for them, but the design of the painters makes it easy for them to make marks on the paper even with their less than perfect hand-eye coordination.
As you have probably guessed I think the ELC Easy Painters are a fantastic addition to any young child or toddler's art box and would recommend then to the parent of any child aged between one and five years. Freddy loves using his almost as much as his more conventional, messy, finger painting and delights in using them to create masterpieces. So I'm giving the ELC Easy Painters five stars out of five as they are simply brilliant.
Both my daughters really love painting and if they had their way they would paint any time and any where. Unfortunately, sometimes you can't face getting out all the newspaper and the water and putting up with all the mess especially as their preferred place for artwork is the kitchen table. This is why when my younger daughter was given the ELC Easy Paineters I was really pleased.
These painters are great because they are really mess free - you don't need water and you don't even need a paintbrush. This means that they can be got out and used with the minimum of fuss even if there's only ten minutes until we need to clear the kitchen table!
The Easy Painters come boxed in a set of five colours - yellow, pink, red, blue and green. It is a shame that there are not more colours on offer especially as these are not that easy to mix. Each painter comes in a small white plastic bottle with the appropriate colour lid. This is unscrewed to reveal a largish felt tip. In order to paint you just shake and then hold the neck of the bottle and press down to apply the paint to your paper. It's ever so easy and the paint seems to come out very evenly which means you avoid big messy splodges. The tips don't seem to dry out at all and there's no need to wash anything - hurrah! Even the bottles themselves don't get messy and if they did they are wipe clean.
Each bottle contains 75 ml of paint and this seems to last a long time. Unfortunately because the bottles are white you can't see how much paint is left in each one - I wish they would make them transparent. However, just by lifting them I can tell by the weight that they are no where near empty and they have had quite a lot of use. This makes me feel quite confident that they are going to last us a long time.
The painters have a recommended age range of between 3 and ten years. I would suggest that they are probably most suitable for the younger end of the range and this is because of the width of the tips. As they are quite wide, they are most suitable for making big pictures that don't need a lot of fine detail. I think older children might find them a bit frustrating because of this and also due to the lack of many colours.
The advantage of these painters is that they are so easy to use and can both be got out and tidied away very quickly. Also, the paint is very quick drying so it means that it only takes a few minutes for the painting to be dry so there's no need to have lots of space to keep them flat. If you keep them in the box it is so easy to take them away with you. We recently spent a few days in Holland and the painters came too. I love the fact that there's no mess and it means that when sometimes I am a bit reluctant for the girls to get out other paint, I'm quite happy for these to be used whenever.
As they are part of ELC's Bits & Basics range they are also not incredibly expensive. At the time of writing (October 2010) they cost £4.00 for the set of five. As they seem to be lasting for ever that seems reasonable value. I definitely recommend them!
Both my girls (age 4 1/2 &2 1/2) absolutely adore drawing, sticking and colouring really any kind of creative art activity. The absolute favourite however is probably painting. While I do try and encourage them as much as I can, and remain enthusiastic to their ideas, I have to admit that my heart does sink a little when they ask to do painting at home.
Not so much for my elder girl, as she will happily paint for quite a while, creating beautiful masterpieces without it being too messy but more so more so for my little one who begs to paint so I get everything out, turn my back for one minute only to be told that she's had enough and I then find that the paint has gone everywhere but the paper and she's covered from head to toe. I didn't want to stifle her creativity but I was looking to find a slightlier less messy and less labour intensive alternative.
I buy most of the girls arty stuff from ELC, I have found that they have a fab range of reasonably priced products and since the sad demise of Woolies, it is the only shop that I really use. During my last visit, I stocked up on regular paint but also had a look for products for my little budding Van Gogh. This set of ELC Easy Painters jumped out at me and I picked up a set for a reasonable £4.
Later that day, I decided to have a good look at the set myself before I let my little one loose with them. The set comprised of 5 white bottle of paint, each one containing one of the following colours: pink, green, blue, yellow and red. Each bottle looks the same apart from each has a lid the colour of the paint inside. On the end of each bottle has a sponge nib which allows the paint to soak through but prevents spillages or excess paint escaping. The child simply uses the bottle to paint with, therefore there is no need for paint brushes or paint pots. You simply remove the lid and you're away.
The best bit for me, is when they are done, there are no messy paint pots to wash up, you simply screw the lids back on and pop them away. You really can't get any easier than that. The only slight negatives on this fab product, is that the paint isn't all that bright, the colous could do with being more vivid. My little one does love them and we have used them loads since I bought them. Having said that, she does still ask after the real deal, at the end of the day, they do just love getting messy.
Our daughter is only 17 months old and it's been a very long never ending winter so we've looked at an endless amount of toys and things to do to keep her occupied until the weather improves. I've always loved painting since I was a kid so I thought I would introduce my daughter to it and see how she got on. These paints are ideal as you use them like crayons in that they have mesh over the top of a bottle so the paint just draws through it like a crayon would.
They come in four different colours - red, blue, yellow and green but we've only opened the red one. I did intend letting her open all of them but the red has actually leaked whilst the lids been on as it fell upside down in the cupboard so I figure one at a time is the best option!
Using the paints are really easy and my daughter found them easy enough to use too. However, we do have the problem that she's fascinated with the mesh fabric at the top so tends to draw on her fingers and spend time staring at it! We have had some gorgeous pictures from her though (I say pictures but really I mean scribbles).
The paint comes out easily although you have to push quite hard on it for first use and at the start of each use. My 17 month old really doesn't have any trouble with it.
My one HUGE niggle is that these stain! There are warnings on the containers but every set of paints that i've seen has a warning to protect themselves. We bought our daughter a painting overall and any paint that has been on it is still there. I've tried soaking it, washing it at a higher temp and nothing has shifted it.
Even though it stains, I would recommend it to others. The manufacturers recommended age is 3+ but my daughter hasn't had any trouble with it. Just make sure you cover all surfaces and carpets before you start.
I have the Christmas set - red, green, silver and gold. They are big tubes filled with paint, with a sponge tip that the paint comes out of. So you use it like a pen. They are quite disappointing really.
They are quick and relatively mess-free. You don't have to fuss with getting paint out into pots and washing up the pots and brushes afterwards. So that is good.
But mess is part of the point with painting - it seems to be much less fun with these things! The children pretty much do a few blobs and stripes and then get bored.
The painter is harder to hold and manoevre than a paintbrush, just because its fatter. Also because it has to be pointing directly down, and not angled like a pen or brush.
My younger child has trouble getting the paint to come out. I have to shake and squeeze it every so often to get it going again.
The most disappointing thing is the colours. They are very watery and very pale when dry. The red and green are still ok even though they are pale (just not very exciting). But the 'silver' dries to grey and the 'gold' dries to brown. Not very Christmassy at all!
We used these at the mother & toddler group and I ended up getting some because it makes painting so much less hassle - rather than mess about with different paints, brushes, overalls, water etc. which all just ends up in one big brown gloopy mess after a while anyway (well...it does in our house anyway), these can paint straight on to the paper with no fuss. The paint is inside (make sure you give it a good shake first or it can look a bit watery) and you just press the meshy top down on the paper to draw - no need to squeeze, which is good for little hands, and the colours are bright and cheerful.
One thing my son likes about these is that you can draw lines etc, but also make dots - when he was younger that meant he could just do a bunch of them, call them rain and be very pleased with himself! And now it means he can do quite impressive looking mosiac-type pictures as well as normal paintings, and I'm not scared to leave the room for a few minutes while he uses them.
My daughter loves painting but always puts her dirty brush in each pot and ends up painting every picture dirty brown so one day in the ELC I spotted these paints. They are basically four thick paint pens in a pack which come in four colours..yellow,green,pink and orange. I bought these because the colours are all flourescent and nice and bright. The child then draws with these like they would a felt tip and paint flows through a mesh top. My daughter loves them and they really are a great idea as there are no messy paint pots to wash up..but they stain really badly. The first time my little girl used them she was outside and had her clothes covered with a painting overall but still managed to get paint on her T'shirt and the patio and I still can't get the marks off both. All credit to the ELC as the paints do say that stains can sometimes be removed and that you need to use just soap and water not detergent but I really think that paints for age 3+ should be washable or is that asking a bit too much.
4 standard coloured sponge tipped bottles.