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Being a mother I am always trying to find ways to keep my kids out of trouble and still have fun. It seems that the older that they get the harder it is. When they were younger we would all spend some time on the Crayola web site each one of us picking out a crafting idea from the web page, printing it and then doing it. We have built farms under water scenes that were amazing, cars and trucks and the list goes on. What we do now that my daughter is a bit older and loves to make shrinky dinks we print up some of the things from the web page and use them as patterns. What I love about the web page is that you really are limited by what you can create in your own mind. So for my daughter there really is no limit. I expect her to come home one day and show me the rocket she created with the help from the Crayola web site. As my kids are starting to grow up I am sure that my time on the crayola web site will become less and less but at least I will always have the memories of the treasures we created from the web page. This is a web page that I will always recommend to all of my friends. Its more than the products they sell its the arts and crafts that create a great moment for quality family time in todays busy lifes.
Crayola.com is the official website for the artistry manufacturer of the same name. The website was first launched in 1994 and has since steadily grown in popularity. It receives more than 72% of its traffic from computers based in the United States due to the strong brand recognition in America, but also receives a 3% share from the United Kingdom. Arts and crafts have never been my strong point. Throughout my primary years I hopelessly struggled trying to glue bits of paper and colour between the lines but never managed to learn how. I still to date can't quite come to terms with fine motor skill ventures but remember always being surrounded by Crayola products in my plight. Crayola.com serves as a marketing and advertising feature for their brand of artist supplies. Their wax crayons and felt tip pens are perhaps the most instantly recognizable products due to their washable and non toxic features, and the website does an excellent job of promoting the brand's image. The background is a hunter's green which is overlaid by golden yellow and emerald accents. There are very few areas of true text on the homepage. Most of the writing is presented through graphic images and banners which are actioned by clicking on them. After reaching a specific topic within the domain the website reverts to a standard text interface which is black on golden yellow background. I don't find this format to be particularly difficult to read but the font size does come across as noticeably smaller than a default setting. My usage of the website is usually brief and limited to certain areas. I frequently access the "coloring pages" area which redirects to a short list of categories including animals, seasons and sports. Clicking these categories will further redirect to a large list of black and white images related to the category; a football will be located in the "sports" category for example. From there, each design can be printed for colouring in by clicking the large "Print" icon which is positioned to the right of each enlarged image. The website also hosts a wide variety of craft ideas which are categorized by the related holiday. A Christmas Poinsettia can be found under the appropriately named "Christmas" heading. Each craft features detailed directions regarding how to construct it but the Crayola branding is very apparent. Each direction will obviously include instructions to use Crayola related products which can come across as slightly intrusive, but is something I do expect when using a company specific website. The craft ideas are nonetheless detailed and should prove sufficient for children under adult supervision who wish to create various works of art. Despite the homepage being heavily adorned with graphic content, the load times are low. Independent testing suggests that 4.3 seconds are required to load 357 KB of content when using a broadband connection. Speeds are further reduced when text becomes a majority. A load time of three seconds was observed when loading the "Animals" section in the colouring pages. My experience with Crayola.com has always been speedy and I'm always able to locate something of interest within seconds. Overall, Crayola.com proves sufficient for its intended marketing purpose but also quite useful in providing free to use colouring pages and craft ideas. I would happily recommend it to those seeking material in these areas.
Now James is older and in his eyes 'wiser' I am forever on a quest to stimulate his mind and keep his hands out of trouble in a fun, constructive manner. I was delighted with some of the ideas I found on crayola.com and it is now a regular resource on rainy days! On first visiting the site you are invited to register, should you live in Canada or the US you will receive 15% discount on your next visit to their store. So what?s the point in signing up then you may be asking. Well you will be able to personalise the site to you and your child?s liking, you will have access to over 500 'inspiring' ideas and 1000 activity book pages. You will also receive a free crayola.com email and personalised crayola.com email newsletter. The main benefits are for those living in the US or Canada, but its free so why not! You can either register as kids, or adults. I registered James under Kids so I am not sure what difference it makes which one you choose, although I did have to click to say that ?parent was present?. There is nothing to stop a child clicking on this anyway, but there we go. The registration process is fairly simple and painless, taking about 5 minutes to complete. The site design is pretty basic; a black background with a yellow foreground, on which you will find links to access the various areas of the site. The home page loads pretty quickly, as there is limited information and graphics. However other pages do take some time to load, making it frustrating for small children who, if anything like James will be bouncing off the walls knowing something 'fun' is about to occur. The home page has 9 of those crayola wax crayons as icons down the side each signifying the different areas of the site. Inspiring ideas You can select from the drop down menus what kind of activity you are looking for, such as gifts to make, group activities, outdoor fun and so on, there really is something for every age group. You can then select the theme, whether it be season related, based on animals, numbers the list seems endless and covering all possibilities it seems. I have yet to fail to find something to amuse James. Finally you choose what media you want to play with, whether it be pens, pencils, paper, chalk, putty and so on. Card creator A vast array of cards for every occasion, almost as many as Blue mountain.com! There is limited fun to be had here for really young children, but as they grow old enough to be able to send cards to online pals, the possibilities are endless and parents online time will be severely curbed! The crayola store.com As the name suggests, a complete guide as to what you can buy from crayola. There are also handy guides as to who certain gifts are appropriate for. This was quite handy as I had seen a gift set for James, but have found some of the contents will be unsuitable for him as yet. Colour census A census was carried out in 2000 the most popular crayola colour is 'blue' amongst all those fantastic colours like 'blizzard blue' and 'periwinkle' the favourite was BLUE!! There are also a series of celebrity colour quizzes to take, where you have to guess the Celebes favourite colour; did you know that Courtney Cox?s was red? Apparently she says, if you paint your door red it lets love it - maybe someone should tell her that a red light bulb will have the same effect, plus she would get paid more for it? You can also complete a quiz about colours, more for the adults amongst us than the children. I actually scored 4 on the quiz, if anyone does any better leave me a comment! Activity book Here you really will find an amazing range of child friendly activities, perfect for those coming rainy cold days and the school holidays. The crayola factory You can take a virtual tour of the factory here. You can see how the crayons are made and learn a little about the history of how and why. Where to buy Speaks for itself. You can buy Crayola goods from all major stationers such as Smiths, Partners and Staples Helpful information Basically how to contact Crayola and a little history about them. There are also some handy tips on how to get the range of media out of clothes. Did you know that spraying fabric stained with colourstick with WD 40 will bring it out?? Nope me either! Also on the home page is feature for the month. As it is approaching Halloween, that is the focus for the activities. There are several 'themed' activities such as a fridge watching witch. You are given all the items required to make it, excellent instructions as to how to make it and a picture to compare it to if you get really stuck. The activities are generally aimed at children aged 4 and over, but younger children can enjoy them too as long as an adult is closely supervising. Not only recipes for a specific activity given, but also ideas for other activities such as card games, discussions etc. All in all this is an excellent site for anyone with children in their lives, be they teachers, childminders, parents, aunts, uncles or even friends. It provides interesting fun, that incorporated a learning theme, without children realising. The site can provide invaluable resources for everyone. Instead of screaming at the kids, find an activity on the site, get everything ready, when they are bored and restless sit down with them and 'play', I usually look for something the night before, if I know I am having a 'home' day and get everything ready. Believe me, you will be less stressed, your children will be learning and having fun, most of all they will be doing something constructive rather than d estructive!