We’ve been really enjoying the sunny weather and although we don’t have a garden at home we make the best of our small yard. On Saturday after visiting the allotment Euan and I collapsed on the bean bag in the yard with an ice lolly, chatted and then he had his weekly iPad time. When Luca woke later on I produced a small parcel that had arrived for them from Little Brian containing no-mess mini paint sticks. I taped large pieces of lining paper to the yard wall and my two little artists set to work trying the paint sticks out.
If you’ve not heard of Little Brian paint sticks don’t worry we hadn’t either until last week when Northumberland Mum Kim shared her review on #triedtested (where we’ve been sharing our blog reviews). I was genuinely intrigued about how something that looks like a glue stick and is dry and mess free could produce the beautiful painted results Northumberland Mum’s girls had created with their paintings.
How the paint sticks work
We received a pack of 12 mini-paint sticks which twist up and down exactly like a glue stick. They were perfect for toddler Luca’s little hands and for 6 year old Euan who wanted to write on his picture. When you draw with them they’re like a soft silky crayon that are momentarily wet like paint and then quickly dry. We’ve only used our paint sticks on paper so far but they’d also be great for using on windows as they’re water soluble and easily wipeable. We’ve not done that at home as we have sash windows so no large surfaces and I think L is too little to understand that these are special paints and the exception to our ”only on paper” drawing rule!
One of the best things about the Little Brian paint sticks is that there are no drips and no muddy blending of colours. Euan thought it was fab to paint standing up like a real artist and his arms remained entirely clean where normally elbows inevitably end up catching on the picture when painting at a table. Luca got quite messy hands in the course of his painting and while the front of his top remained spotless when he was pausing for thought he was standing back from his picture with his hands on his hips. The back of his top had some paint marks on it and the darker colours are still slightly visible after going through the wash. This doesn’t bother me as he wears hand me down clothes anyway and I think a messy child = lots of fun. If you do want your child’s clothes to remain stain free I’d err on the side of caution and use a painting overall or choose old clothes to paint in. Some of Luca’s creativity spread beyond the borders of his picture or onto the decking and this wiped off easily so I think the claim that the paint sticks are mess-free is a strong one.
Luca also experimented with using the paint sticks on a canvas and we wanted to see how different they would be if he used a water bowl for dipping like you do with conventional paints. He liked the process of dabbing his stick in and out and enjoyed spotting his stick rather than just drawing with it. The canvas did get quite wet and as you’d expect the colours started to blur into a muddy brown colour. We tried painting his hands with the sticks to create hand prints but they were too dry for that (which is fine as they’re meant to be!). He liked giving it a go anyway and even though we experimented in this way it was a lot less messy than using ordinary paints with brushes. The next day the boys wanted to paint new pictures and these have been hanging in the yard ever since, undamaged by chilly nights and morning dew where conventional paints would have smudged I think.
I took a few video clips of my littlest artist at work and made it into a short video clip for you. As you can see he found them much easier to work with than a pen and taking the lids on and off himself was no trouble at all. These paint sticks are such a good buy at just £6 and I’d guess we still have at least half a stick of every colour left.
Disclosure: we were sent these paint sticks by Little Brian to sample. We were not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own .