Once you become a parent, you instantly realize that there are certain types of toys that you will most definitely hate, like anything that requires batteries and/or makes noise. Almost everything else falls into the category of toys that you will hate to love. Anything in the arts and crafts department makes the latter list for me, thanks to the folks at Crayola.
Don’t get me wrong – I love that my kids love to draw. I don’t always love the amount of paper that piles up as a result (which inspired this post I wrote for Mock Mom). Regardless, we have more crayons, markers, and colored pencils in our house than anything else. Over the years, we’ve had many different art supplies, from many different brands, but I’ve found these Crayola products to be among the best.
Pros: These things are great for small children. Anyone who has tried to give a toddler a bath knows that getting them to sit still while you shampoo and rinse their hair is one of the most difficult feats known to man. With these bathtub crayons, your child is sufficiently distracted while you wash and rinse them; they may not even notice that you got a little water on their face, which, as we all know, is one of the worst things that can ever happen to a toddler.
Cons: While it’s a welcome distraction as you give your child a bath, the aftermath just ends up being something extra for you to clean. Also, your child’s artwork often makes it appear as though someone was murdered in your tub.
Pros: These markers are perfect for a rainy or snowy day when the kids are bored with drawing on regular paper, and can keep them occupied for quite some time, depending on how many windows are in your house, of course.
Cons: All the same things as the bathtub crayons, only in this instance, it looks like someone was murdered in your living room.
Pros: Crayola Color Wonder markers (or paint) can’t draw on anything other than special paper made by Crayola, so that means no marker stains all over the table or floor or clothing.
Cons: They can’t draw on anything other than special paper made by Crayola! So if you run out of Color Wonder paper the markers are useless, thus forcing you to purchase more Color Wonder paper. There are some seriously evil geniuses working over there.
Pros: Kids love glitter. Parents hate glitter. By placing the glitter directly into the marker, the kids get the glitter effect without the mess. I think those evil geniuses over at Crayola might have a little soft-spot for parents after all.
Cons: Nothing! Didn’t you read what I just wrote?! Glitter without the mess! These things are amazing!
Pros: These triangular crayons are geared towards toddlers, making it easier for them to hold a writing instrument so they can begin filling your home with countless pieces of art as soon as possible. They are great, and not just for toddlers, mostly because they are triangular and don’t roll. Even school-age children can benefit from this. If the crayons can’t roll, they can’t roll off of the table, and under ever single piece of furniture you own.
Cons: Nothing about the product itself, but I do hate that every single crayon, marker, and colored pencil made by Crayola isn’t triangular! Children are the only people using these products, so why are they all round and extremely (surprisingly) mobile?!
Okay, I have to be honest here and say that we don’t actually have this product. But we did have the pleasure of going to the Crayola Experience in Easton, PA a couple of years ago where there was an area that allowed the children use a machine that molded their own crayons into different shapes. Almost two years later and my daughter still has hers (it’s a ring).
So if I had to guess, I would love this product because it would make use of all the broken crayons we have, and knowing how much my kids loved it at the Crayola Experience, I know they’d have a great time with it.
I can’t think of anything I’d hate about it, so I’ll probably just have to buy one to find out.
The bottom line is that Crayola makes great products that foster creativity and keep kids occupied with minimal mess. No matter what toys my children play with, there will always be something about them that will annoy me in some way. The key is to find the toys where the the things you love about them outweigh the things you hate.
If you’re looking for some more gift ideas for children, be sure to check out Toys I Hate to Love: Holiday Edition.
*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something from one of the links in this post, you’ll still pay the same price, but I’ll get a small commission. I only recommend products I have personally had a great experience with.