The first time I heard about Crayola’s “Color Wonder” products I was very skeptical. Yep, my little art teacher nose turned up so fast and morphed into full fledged snob-mode. If you haven’t heard of it, Color Wonder products include color-less paint that only shows up on special paper that makes it appear. I’m guessing that the product was designed for those skittish parents that hate messes and don’t want paint everywhere, but still want to provide their kids with art experiences at home. Noble goal.
I didn’t like the idea because the entire POINT of using paint is to see the colors you are going to use and intentionally create something with them. Painting is a well-rounded sensory experience that shouldn’t me messed with. Right?
Low and behold, I ended up eating my words, as my daughter (age 2) received a Color Wonder Light-Up Paint Palette for Christmas this year from her Grandma. (Yes, it lights up and of course, I refuse to put batteries in the thing).
After several experiences with using it though, I have to admit, it’s not half bad. My daughter enjoyed seeing the colors appear after they were put on the paper, and the colors ended up being quite bold. She didn’t have a problem understanding what color she was using and, I will admit, the lack of mess was kind of nice.
Would a teacher actually use this product in the art room? Probably not, since it’s quite spendy and I don’t think the paints would last all that long for classes of 30 students. However, I know parents are always asking art teachers for recommendations on what to purchase for their kids at home, and in this case, I would probably give this product the ‘nod’ if asked.
Hey, anything to get the art in the hands of kids, right!?
I guess this story goes to show, we can’t always judge an art supply at first glance. As you flip through the catalog to order your next round of supplies, you might consider giving something new a chance. Even something that doesn’t seem as ‘open ended’ as we would like, can still have a place in the art room if used in a sensible way.
So tell us, what strange art supplies have you tried that seem to ‘break the mold’ ?
Any snobbish arty moments where you ended up eating your words, like me?