Let me just start off by saying that I am an art supply junkie. Seriously. There is a tiny Michaels craft store up in my guest bedroom/craft room/office. If you need some sort of art/craft supply I probably have it (or two of them). So when the opportunity arose to try out the Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paints I was so excited to play with them and try them out!
First, the basics – Kwik Stix are little twist-up sticks of tempera paint (like a glue stick). You just uncap, twist, and paint. No water is needed to activate the product and the dry time is 90 seconds. Kwik Stix can be used on paper, poster board, cardboard, wood and even canvas! They are a quick way to “paint” without all of the mess and necessities (water, paintbrushes, paper towel, etc.). They are non-toxic and super convenient!
They are very smooth and creamy to apply to paper. I used cardstock in these examples (both white and black). As you can see, the colors are most vivid when used on a white background. Even though they are a tempera paint, they are very reminiscent of oil pastels or even the Faber Castell Gelatos. The example below shows the Kwik Stix on the top row and oil pastels on the bottom row. With the oil pastels you will notice little bits of the pastel on the paper. You get none of that with the Kwik Stix!
These little bits can cause a lot of trouble when making art resulting in little smears and blended colors you did not intend. It also causes your hands to end up rainbow colored by the end of your project. The Faber Castel Gelatos react in the same way, leaving little bits behind sometimes.
While the oil pastels and Gelatos are not the exact same material as the Kwik Stix, they are similar in the way you apply them and the feel you get when applying them to the paper. Gelatos do react with water (somewhat) but Kwik Stix do not react with water at all. Once the paint is on your paper, it stays there and is dry super quick! In fact, depending on how thick a layer of color you put down I found that most of the time the Kwik Stix dried almost instantly.
I didn’t often use tempera paint in my classroom. I used other mediums such as watercolor, craft paints, acrylics, and finger paints, etc. but I’ve never been a super big fan of tempera paint. They always seemed to have an odd smell to them and once dried on paper they had a texture that I can’t quite describe (gritty? rough? can’t find the perfect adjective!). The Kwik Stix, however, were super smooth once dried. It honestly felt like I was holding a piece of blue cardstock rather than a piece of cardstock that had paint applied to it. The smoothness was a nice surprise! It felt a little glossy almost. The Kwik Stix also do not give off any noticeable smell that I noticed either.
While playing with the Kwik Stix I never once got any of the paint on my hands (and not for lack of trying either!). Like I mentioned, they do dry so fast and that even when I ran my hand across an area I “painted” I was left with no paint or residue on my hand. I cut the above sheet into little pieces like this.
In the classroom I always loved doing art projects and used paint many times throughout the year. Yes, it could be messy at times, but messes can be cleaned up easily. My students were always great at cleaning up! With Kwik Stix, there is virtually no clean up! Just put the lid on and you’re pretty much done!
I have an (almost) 18 month old son, and I’ve been introducing crayons for a while now and can’t wait to get super messy with him! He still loves to put things in his mouth, however, so even with non-toxic paints out there, I’m still holding off a bit longer before we do finger painting and trying out paintbrushes. Kwik Stix are going to be super easy to use with him!
There are a lot of ways you could use these Kwik Stix in your classroom. Put them in a writing center; use them during a reward art time (think Fun Friday); use them to count syllables in words; make number sentences using ten frames; write sight words, and, uh, pretty much use them for a million different craft projects!
So I’m sure some of you are thinking….”but….it’s not painting!” Well, yes, it’s not painting in the traditional sense but this is a great alternative! Students love using a variety of supplies in the classroom, and I have no doubt these would be a big hit! I would most definitely teach your students have to use them properly (I’m the teacher that did a ‘Proper Way to Use Play-Doh’ speech every year for my kiddos!) . For example- There is no need to smash the stik down on the paper or twist it out far AND be sure to put the cap back on securely when not in use.
I was pretty impressed with the Kwik Stix! They are a fun, quick and easy way to add a little art to your day!
I was also sent some pencil grips to try out. I’ve had several students who struggled with their handwriting throughout the years- some due to medical reasons and others not. I’m not an occupational therapist, and I have no training on how to formally teach proper handwriting grip. I appreciate those kindergarten teachers who work hard on that skill!
The pencil grips come with an information sheet that shows correct and incorrect ways to hold a pencil. Some of the ways are quite obviously incorrect, but it helps to see other ways that aren’t necessarily “correct” also. This information is not only useful for a teacher but parents would find it very helpful to reinforce correct writing at home. I actually believe these are the pencil grips that the O.T. gives out in my district. I’ve had a few students use these in class to help them with proper grip. There are so many ways to hold a pencil, so having a tool to provide some guidance and support to those students who need it, as early as possible, is awesome! I can already see myself using these with my son in the future.
Here is the most exciting thing of all – The Pencil Grip, Inc. is going to give away a set of Kwik Stix 12pk (assorted colors) to one lucky reader!
The giveaway is open for one week and you may enter until August 6th at 12:00 a.m. The winner will be chosen sometime August 6th and the winner will be displayed below via Rafflecopter. I will be validating entries so please be sure to do what the Rafflecopter entry options say! The Pencil Grip, Inc. will be sending the winner the prize! This giveaway us open to U.S. residents only.
If you want to go ahead and order some Kwik Stix for yourself, feel free to jump over to The Pencil Grip’s Amazon Store to check out all of their products! Or, use the coupon code below to save at their website: www.thepencilgrip.com Even if you don’t “win” the giveaway, you can always win by saving money with a coupon!
Special thanks to Debbie at The Pencil Grip, Inc. for this opportunity and providing a prize for my readers!