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When I saw these felt tips, suitable for toddlers aged 18 months plus I immediately thought of our two year old who loves colouring and drawing. The pens are shaped like animals and easy to grip and have no lids or small parts.
I saved the pens for a rainy day and got them out for decorating the fathers day card ... the pens worked immediately but were more like a flood when we used them and the colour was running all over the page. Then it turned in to slamming them down and the ink was splashed everywhere. Even though I cleaned it up it still sat everywhere and blotched all over the wrapping paper when I used the surface to gift wrap. Luckily I never put the shirt down we got my dad or it would have been ruined!
We got a pack of three pens and they were green, red and brown. The red one is like blood flowing when you first use it. Perhaps they calm down after initial use but I found them very messy to use.
I paid a couple of pounds for the pack I got from Home Bargains but I have seen them on the Play website for £8 a pack.
As you can tell, I am not a huge fan of these! OK so they are washable but the mess is incredible and we got it everywhere from 2 minutes of supervised drawing. The pack actually warns that they can be messy and to wear smocks and lay down sheets but I thought they were exaggerating (they weren't). At the moment these have been relegated to the top of the fridge freezer (out of reach) but if I am feeling brave one day I may set them up again in the garden on a roll of old wallpaper and let our two year old go for it with a paddling pool to wash off in afterwards!
These are the sort of art tool you quickly regret buying. The fact that our daughter likes to smash them down on the page sends the ink flying so it really doesn't work well for us. Yes they are nice and chunky for little hands to use but be ready for your children to be dyed red, green and brown when they use these!
I have written quite a few reviews over the last 12 months about Crayola products and the majority of them have been very positive. I usually rate the quality of their creative products very high, however, I feel that this set of special marker pens just don't live up to the Crayola name and are actually quite disappointing.
Crayola make a very large variety of creative products for young children and teens. I can remember always having Crayola items when I was younger which I would prefer to other brands as they would always be easier to use with a better overall outcome. Since having my own daughter I have bought lots of Crayola products for her starting with their first big chunky crayons and now we're looking at slightly older products. As well as drawing items they also have lots of accessories that go with them such as painting kits, activity books and scissors.
Tadoodles are marker pens to introduce to a young child. It says suitable from 18 months plus. It is a way to show your child that there is an alternative to crayons and enables them to explore with this different way of drawing.
++++++++++What you get++++++++
In the packet you get three pens and these are made to look like animals. They do look more like toys than pens so at first glance you wouldn't even know they were pens. In our set we have the colour green, brown and orange. They come in a packet which then needs to be thrown away as the pens don't fit back in. It is very typically Crayola with the green and yellow colouring which is typical of the Crayola brand so it is easy to spot on the shelf.
As I said these pens look very much like animal toys as oppose to pens. They are very rounded and come in the guise of; a green frog, brown bear and an orange lion. The first thing which I noticed about these pens is that this particular set doesn't really offer you anything bright and cheerful, instead these autumnal colours are rather dark and it seems a bit odd that you have an orange and a brown in the same set as these two colours are not all that different as the orange is quite a dark one. I am unsure if you can buy other 3 sets and if so what colour options you have but these were the only ones we could get. I didn't realise how dull the orange would be before buying it, had I known that it was very similar to the brown i probably wouldn't have bothered as it seems a bit of a waste having two colours that are so alike.
The pens are supposedly shaped very round to help small hands to grip them. What it does do though is just make them harder to grip. They are too big for children to hold properly, when we first bought these Hope wasn't quite two and she didn't have a clue how to hold them let alone have any form of control over drawing with them. Now she is two and a half she can grip them okay but the roundness of them means every so often she will just drop them as they're shiny so quite slippery.
The roundness of these pens have another negative effect- because they are shaped like this when you are drawing with them you can't actually see the 'nib' so you have no idea what you are drawing and if it's actually working properly. This is definitely a design flaw.
As for the colours they are all very dull. The green is the most bright but even then I wouldn't say it was a particularly bold colour it just seems it compared to the dark brown and dingy orange ones.
The nibs of the pens are not like with a normal pen which would be pointed, instead this is just a small mesh section- about the size of a 5p- which oozes ink if you press it onto paper. This makes it easy to get the colour onto the paper and it is young child friendly as there are no awkward sharp bits so it does work in that respect. However, there is no lid for it which I can understand why- a lid could be seen as a choking hazard and it may also get in the way of the design feature of the animals perhaps. Because there is no lid it means that these pens can very easily mark other items that they happen to be next to. We keep all of Hope's pens, crayons and pencil crayons in a box together but these have managed to mark the sides of the box as well as several of the crayons. They do need to really be stored upright so the nibs are at the top and are unlikely to touch anything so we have to keep these separately.
When playing with these Hope has developed a few skills such as hand-eye-co-ordination as she has learnt to hold these and navigate them on a piece of paper to create a picture or colouring in. She has struggled to do this as accurately as she does with crayons which I don't think is anything to do with the different material she's colouring with but instead due to the rather clumsy design of these.
When playing with these Hope gets quite frustrated and won't play with them for long. She seems a bit confused as to whether they are toys or items to get creative with. She loses her patience with them because they just slip from her fingers with being so smooth and round and she is unable to see the page properly.
I personally feel like this isn't a very good idea, they are trying to do too much- be a toy, be introducing pens in a 'safe' way and to try to be very young child friendly. Sadly they just do not achieve this.
Because they are animals and look so much toys it can be confusing. You almost want to leave your child to quite happily play with these as toys and to develop their imaginations with them interacting with each other which is a great idea as children need to develop their imaginations, however, because they are actually pens you can't leave them unattended for a second with these as they soon end up all over the place and can make a mess of your furniture within seconds! If there was a lid or some way to cover up the nib section at least it would make these more practical so your little one could play with them properly. Even if Hope does sit in her highchair and plays with them whilst colouring it isn't straight forward, she is so busy having them dancing around and talking to each other that she forgets about the nib and ends up with the pen all over her hands.
These pens are washable so they will come off your little one's hands easily which is luckily seeing as they are so easy to get everywhere! They are not so successful in getting off furniture or carpets though so do be warned!
I was hoping that these would make colouring in and being creative really fun. I think that children need to be encouraged to be creative and explore their imaginations from a young age so these did look like an ideal product to buy. Sadly they actually don't achieve this, instead they are too cumbersome for little hands to hold properly, they are smooth so they're slippery making gripping them awkward. Because of the shape your little one can't see the nib so has limited control over what they are drawing which results in everything just looking like a lot of hap-hazard scribbles.
The colours are dull and uninspiring with two of them; orange and brown, being ever so similar. I cannot help but think that these were a waste of money. Even if they worked well I would think similar as what is the point in buying 3 pens if 2 of them are so similar in colour you may as well just have one not both? Even the green is quite dull, Crayola definitely should have thought more carefully about what colours they paired up together as these definitely don't inspire!
The animals themselves are a nice idea and look cute and friendly which will encourage your child to want to pick them up and play with and for this reason I think that they are nicely designed to stand out like this but it just doesn't go any further than that, they definitely fall down at the practicalness hurdle.
They are also awkward to store because they are so round they take up quite a bit of space and the lack of a cover of the nib they do end up marking other items so you have to be careful how you store these. I ensure they are way out of Hope's reach as she will easily draw on the furniture with these quite by mistake whilst she plays with them.
We bought these from Tesco for about £5 but I don't think that they are worth this at all. I wouldn't be buying them again. We have had them for over 6 months but they have barely been used. They just seem to cause too much frustration and the results of using them are not very impressive. I definitely won't be buying these again and would advise that if you would like to introduce pens to your children to look at the chunky markers that Crayola make as these are far more practical and inspiring to use instead of trying to be too many things at once.
These are disappointing as Crayola is usually such a good brand. I think they need to make them more simple. It is a shame as they do look very cute.
I have given them 3 stars which may seem generous after my review but I do like the overall idea it is a nice one trying to incorporate a toy into a drawing implement and the animals themselves look very cute and the ink is easy to get onto the paper (or walls and furniture!) without having to press on hard so there are some positives but I wouldn't personally recommend them to you.
These are part of the Crayola Beginnings range, recommended for children aged 18months+.
They are available in many shops such as Toys'r'us, Woolworths, The Entertainer as well as online such as amazon. They are priced at £4.99 on amazon and at £4.16 on the crayola store. There are 3 markers in each set.
These little characters are basically markers aimed at little hands. They are just the right size and shape to fit nicely in the palm of a small child, making it easy for them to hold and draw with. They are chunky but round and each colour is a different animal - green frog, orange bear, brown dog, purple hippo, yellow chick and pink pig.
When placed on the table they wobble around (a bit like a weeble!!) but they don't tip over. They don't have lids but they don't dry out as they are designed to be activated at each use by a few dabs on the paper.
The ink is non-toxic and easily washable from both skin and clothes.
My son loves crayons (but he chews them), pencils (but he bites the leads) and biros (but they aren't washable) so when my husband saw these in a shop he decided to buy them.
Although my little boy is only 14months he is able to use these markers easily, once they have been activated for him. He finds it easy to hold them and make them draw on the paper. They make wide lines so it is easy for him to see that he has actually drawn something, even if he's just stabbed at the paper.
Generally these will be attractive to young children due to the bold colours and characters of each marker. We have found they are easy to use and the ink is as easy to wash off everything as it states on the packs!!
They are quite expensive and there is currently only 6 colours available, although at that age I guess they don't really need lot's of shades/colours!
TaDoodles Washable First Marks are the right size and shape for a child's first palm grasp to help in developing gross to fine motor skills. With their unique design, First Marks won't dry out and can be reactivated by simply dabbing them on a piece of paper several times. Worry-free! No caps needed! With each scribble, dab, and wiggle, your child's imagination will grow!