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May 3, 2016

The Pencil Grip, Inc. TOS Review

I knew when I first heard about Kwik Stix from The Pencil Grip, Inc., there were going to be a couple of happy boys at our house.  I didn't realize there would also be a happy mom!  The Kwik Stix 12 pk arrived while Grandma and Poppa were visiting.  They always bring projects to build and toys to play with when they're here.  This time, it was a set of wooden castles and catapults that needed to be painted before they could be played with.  The boys (and grandma) were already painting with the paint pots that came with the castles when the Kwik Stix were delivered.  The table was covered with brown paper, Merrick was wearing an apron, the cups of water and paper towels were out.  You know the drill.

The toughest part about painting like that for the boys is w a i t i n g.  Waiting for the paint to dry between colors when they wanted to paint details.  Waiting for it to dry to play with.  Sometimes being patient is difficult.  We were able to finish up the castles in minutes, compared to a couple of hours.  In no time at all, everything was painted and dried.

At first, we used the acrylic paint in pots, but once the Kwik Stix arrived, we were able to get rid of all of the brown paper, aprons, and paper towels.  The black castle on the left was painted with Kwik Stix.

Kwik Stix look like a glue stick.  You simply remove the cap and twist the tempera paint stick out of the tube.  Apply the paint and twist it right back into the tube.  Recap.  No-mess art and almost zero clean up.  Easy like Sunday morning.  Pause here to sing it.  Feel the mellow.  I'll wait.  The colors are incredibly bright and give great coverage.  The Kwik Stix 12 pk contains red, orange, yellow, two shades of green, two shades of blue, purple, pink, white, brown, and black.  Besides the 12 pack, Kwik Stix comes in a six pack of neons or metallix paints, as well as a basic six pack or a whopping 96-count classroom pack which is eight of each color from the 12 pack.  I did think with thorough coverage, it took two to three minutes to dry completely.  Even though I didn't see 90 second dry time, it was still very reasonable and much faster than regular paints.

Merrick, Xavier, and I have painted on tons of paper, in lots of colors.  We've even layered colors. Merrick has become somewhat notorious for choosing dark colors of construction paper and covering large portions of them with black Kwik Stix.  We thoroughly tested light paint on dark paper, dark on light, layering paints on each other.  When we let the first color dry, there was no problem layering colors without mixing them.

I used Kwik Stix on the cardboard tri-fold when we made our Alan Shepard display corner.  (I wish there had been a gray Kwik Stix for the moon topography.)  Also, I may have finished up *all* of the black stick (which we used in many projects before the tri-fold) by the end of the display board, so the coverage wasn't as thick as I had intended to get it.

Malachi isn't a huge artsy kid.  He just isn't that interested.  He had a big, canvas hoop tent that I picked up at Joann's for 75% off just before Christmas.  (SCORE!)  The kit was intended to be tie-dyed, but when I talked with Mal about how we wanted to decorate it and which colors we would dye it, he was adamant that it should be decorated with trains.  The tent sat in the box for a couple of months while I thought about the best way to decorate canvas.  After the Kwik Stix arrived, Mal decided to use them to paint the train scene from Back to the Future 3 on his tent.  He even ended up drawing a little Doc and Clara hanging off the side of the engine by the time he was done.

At co-op, there hasn't been any chance to paint in Mrs. Blake's art class.  Her class was (I say *was* because last week was the last class of the year!) the last period of the day, so there was no way paint would dry before it was time to leave.  No way paint would dry before Kwik Stix!  I took the pack in for our group one day.  I laid down a few ground rules about not twisting out the entire stick of tempera paint and giving the paint a couple minutes to dry before layering the colors.  The group is about ages 3-7.  They all did a terrific job following instructions and were pretty creative.  Some of them painted the clothespin airplanes we made and some made pictures on construction paper.

When the Kwik Stix arrived, I was also surprised to receive a Pencil Grip in the box.  We actually have a bit of experience with various pencil grips in this house.  Mal has had a time of learning to properly hold a pen or pencil for writing and we've used our fair share of tricks and techniques to help him with that.  The Pencil Grip is a nice, somewhat squishier grip that is suitable for left or right handed people.  The letters R and L mark the section where the user's thumb rests.  The Pencil Grip is recommended by PTs and OTs, and it's definitely the best one we've tried.

There's a page of free informational PDFs about the Pencil Grip on their website.

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Kwik Stix The Pencil Grip, Inc. Review

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