Many toddlers love paint, and who can blame them? There are so many great things about painting: the joy of drawing something ("Look, Mommy, I drew a butterfly!"), the wet squishy feel of the paint itself, and the physical act of swirling paint everywhere with your hands.
I bought this Crayola Washable Fingerpaint set on a whim while strolling through a toy store. While I think it was ultimately worth its price, I can only half-heartedly recommend it.
About the Product
There are 4 squeezable bottles, each containing 5 oz of washable non-toxic fingerpaint. These bottles are very easy to squeeze and have the "no-drip" cap that reminds me of our ketchup bottle. My only minor quibble with the bottle is that I often end up with more paint than I actually want because it's hard to calibrate your squeeze.
The cardboard packaging was quickly tossed, so I just keep the 4 bottles together on a counter in our laundry room, out of my daughter's reach.
At first glance, the colors in the bottles appear to be red, blue, green and yellow. However, on white easel paper, the colors look very different because they lack the same opacity they have in the bottle. All of them are very transparent like watercolors rather than bold/solid poster paint. For example, while the yellow paint squeezes out a dark orange color, once spread it out, it becomes a very pale, watery yellow. My daughter usually mixes it into a darker color so you can then see the yellow better. The contrast between the blue and green in the bottles and on paper are not as dramatic, but she refers to the red paint as pink, as that's what it looks like.
The consistency is very slimy, which my daughter seems to enjoy. When I tried it, I found it a surprise as I expected it to be more like regular paint. Personally, I'm not a fan of slimy paint. When I help her wash her hands afterward, I have to rub with repeated squirts of soap to remove that slimy texture.
When we first tried the set, I squeezed a silver dollar-sized dollop of each color on white easel paper that had been taped to a flat table. My daughter immediately mixed colors together but they don't mix as anticipated. For instance, I told her, "Red and blue will make purple!" When she swirled the red and blue, it became an ugly dark blue/black color. Fortunately, she didn't seem to mind but I was disappointed as that's one of the benefits of painting, learning how to combine colors to make new colors.
On another note, while this set is marked as washable fingerpaint, it's not entirely washable. I thought I was being smart, as I still made my daughter wear her Bumkins Art Smock. Nonetheless, she managed to wipe her hand on her hip, just out of reach of the smock. Her beautiful white dress is permanently marked with a faded brownish/purplish stain. Sigh. Now I always make sure she's wearing old clothes under her smock when she paints, even if she does protest that she prefers to wear a pretty dress.
I should also note that the paint washes off the smock quite easily, as it has a waterproof coating. However, our IKEA toddler table is permanently stained from paint dribbles. We always paint outdoors, so I'm not sure whether this paint comes out of carpet or other surfaces. Thus, I'd caution parents to be careful what surfaces you use and where you choose to paint.
I think this product has served its purpose, but I wouldn't give it a full recommendaiton. We paid about $6 for this at our local Toys R'Us store so it's not an expensive toy. However, it certainly didn't meet all my expectations. I would have liked to see bolder colors, colors that correctly mix into new colors, and better washability.
Still, given the overall experience, I'd still half-heartedly recommend it to other parents.
Special thanks to marytara for adding this to the database for me!
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Amount Paid (US$): 6
Type of Toy: Arts and Crafts
Age Range of Child: 12 to 36 Months