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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Art Supplies

 

 
2015 Awards
eeBoo 24 Color Pencil Sets & Sketch Books
(eeBoo $6 & 13 Score:)

Our testers continue to love eeBoo's 24 color pencil sets ($13) with matching sketchpads($6). This season you'll find a pad and pencil set in paper boxes instead of tins, decorated with airplanes by Ross MacDonald, colorful birds and flowers by Saxton Freymann and colorful cats by Monika Forsberg. As always the quality of spiral notebooks and colored pencils is excellent and there is no better way to encourage kids to develop their writing skills than with the fun activity of drawing. Send a box to your summer camper that may pay off in colorful letters. Blank paper and drawing their own ideas are better choices than coloring books that require staying inside the lines. For now, let them create the lines and spin their own stories about what they are drawing. 6-9

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Awards
eeBoo 12 color Pencils Striped Biggies
(eeBoo $8 Score:)

Want to build a love of pencil and paper tasks? Switch the 'task' word for 'fun' with these short but jumbo size pencils that are perfect for little hands to grasp without the strain of skinny pencils. Send a box to your summer camper and we bet you'll get a colorful letter in return. Choose a box with robots or fairies to fit you artist's tastes. These sets with a dozen juicy colors come with a sharpener that fits their thick size and they will go a long way in making writing and drawing a fun activity rather than a drudge they dread. Don't worry about having them practice copying numbers or letters. It is far more important to encourage them to use paper and pencil in open ended ways and gain control of those fine motor skills with scribble drawings that help develop beginners eye hand skills. Bring home a matching sketch pad with robots or fairies. Either of these will be a gift to invite creativity as well as paper and pencil skills that kids will enjoy. 5 & up

SNAP: These are fatter and easier to grasp pencils that kids will like using.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Faber Castell Outdoor Chalk Art Set
(Creativity for Kids $14.99 Score:)

Imagine having a dozen vibrant chalks to draw with outdoors and no need to get messy hands (if that bothers your young artist) or sore knees, either. This dandy set comes with a knee pad cushion, 2 foam grips to slid the chalk into and two blending tools. A brush and a piece of foam. The intense color of these chalks makes you want to get out there and draw all over the driveway! Marked for 4 & up, but we know older schoolaged kids are going to love it, too.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Faber Castell Gel Sticks and Texture Art
(faber-castell $14.99 Score:)

We love these smooth, easy-to-blend gel sticks for drawing in bright intense colors. Use them for drawing or add water and the stiff brush provided to turn drawings into watercolor paintings. The kit comes with 8 gel sticks, 10 pieces of textured paper, 10 more of regular paper, and a rubbing plate for extra texture. There are stencils, glue stick, and three foam frames with hanging tabs, and double sided sticky foam for displaying finished art. An open-ended set of art materials with a new texture and style. 6 & up.

Materials that make using pencil and paper tasks fun are always welcome.These soft but brilliantly colored gel sticks will make such activities new again.Use them for exploring up and down motions and circles and blending colors. Keep it playful. The object is to use those small motor muscles and eye hand skills. Giving children paper and tools to explore is more than just fun; it's the way to build those skills without tiresome and off-putting drills.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Poof Sidewalk Chalk Ultimate Mandala Stencil Kit
(Alex $31.99 Score:)

This really is the ultimate sidewalk chalk set with 36 colorful chalks that should provide a summer full of fun. For those who like their hands clean and their chalk whole, there are 5 chalk holders and two giant stencils for tracing the parts of the mandala design. These chalks come shaped with writing tips and lots of colorful choices for making a unique mandala or whatever else their creative hands prefer. Alex sells these chalks in smaller packs without the stencils, but this is an interesting way to introduce kids to an art form from another culture. We suggest you hold back with some of the chalk instead of opening the entire supply all at once. Good fun for a family reunion party to keep the kids busy. They could use the chalk for hopscotch or an art show in the driveway, as well. Marked 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Alex Tilt & Swirl Painter
(Alex $37.99 Score:)

Our testers liked the twirl and swirl action of this art kit that full of surprises. YOu load the four corners with paint and drop the foam balls into the covered box with see-through top. Now, start shaking and tilting the balls as the hatches open and the balls carry the paint from side to side. The set comes with ten activity sheets with mazes as well as ten sheets of blank paper. We prefer the latter, allowing more free form experiments that will mix colors as the balls cross paths. For Ages 6+.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
eeBoo Squirrel 24 Watercolor Pencils & Sketch Book
(eeBoo $14.99 Score:)

Newest additions to a line of beautiful watercolor pencils and sketch book art supplies. The colored pencils in their handsome tin provide a range of hues artists, young and old, will welcome. Draw with dry pencil and then use a paintbrush and water to turn drawings into paintings. Illustrator Monika Forsberg designed the red squirrel with a posy for bird. This makes a perfect gift for creative springtime birthdays or visits. 5-50+.

SNAP: Encouraging kids to work on pencil and paper skills can be enhanced by bringing home art supplies that are more fun to practice with than ordinary paper and pencil.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2015.

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2014 Awards
eeBoo Color Pencils Striped Biggies
(eeBoo $7.99 & up Score:)

Designed for small hands these oversized colored pencils come in sets of 12 or 24 along with a special sized sharpener. The delicious colors will make paper and pencil tasks more fun and may be just the right inducement for kids who are just starting to write words and letters in school. As the box says, they are shorter than most pencil sets, but jumbo in thickness, giving beginners a broader line and more control. Drawing, coloring or writing, these are terrific tools for developing eye hand and for refining those small muscles in the fingers and hand that are needed for the task. Bring home a Sketchbook with elves carrying Striped Biggies. 5 & up.

SNAP For all the reasons stated above, these are a good choice that will make pencil tasks more pleasing.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Faber-Castell Gel Sticks
(Faber-Castell $12.99 Score:)

Kids are going to love the buttery Gel Sticks that can be used for drawing and then turned into water color paintings with a paintbrush and water. These are not to be confused with the also wonderful Gel Crayons that are not water soluble. You will want to protect the table surface where they work, since these are a bit messier than regular crayons, but also far more versatile.  You get 12 gel sticks and a paintbush in the set. This would make a great stocking stuffer.

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
Faber-Castell Gel Crayons
(Faber-Castell $15 Score:)

Delicious! That is the best word to describe what rich beautiful color you get from the 12 Gel Crayons you get in this set of washable gel crayons with intense colors. The blue gel crayon pictured here is just one of a dozen brilliant colors. They are nothing like any crayons you have ever used. An exciting new medium that will invite kids to develop their creativity as well as their dexterity. Using big arm motions these crayons glide over the paper leaving bright lines that are as bold as tempera paint without the problem of dripping. They do not blend as well as ..

paint, but they do offer an easy way to encourage kids to explore color, line and expressing themselves in non-verbal ways. The set comes with 12 buttery crayons in chunky plastic that turns up as the color is used. Includes red, yellow, orange, dark blue, grass green, black, silver, neon yellow, neon orange, neon pink, neon blue and neon green. Color on textures and it shows through. They say these can be used on windows and mirrors and washed off; we have not tried them that way.These are marked 3 & up, but we suspect these make a better choice for slightly older kids. For interesting ideas on how to use these and other art projects visit greatartstartshere.com

Also fun, but water-soluble, try Faber-Castell Gel Sticks that can be applies like crayons and then wet them with water and paint brush to transform drawings into water color painting.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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