Write Start Colored Pencils.

I hope I can be forgiven for some parent-centric posts. My daughter has discovered pencils, and this is exciting! Charlotte has been playing/coloring with crayons since around her first birthday in April 2011. She learned her standard eleven colors that way, and she really enjoys them. She recently graduated to some very very toddler-friendly colored pencils from Crayola.

I know: Crayola does not make the world’s greatest colored pencils, etc. But they do make a lot of coloring/drawing supplies for small hands. Charlotte is completely in love with their hexagonal, fat, strong, attractive colored pencils called Write Start. They are shorter than pencils, falling between crayons and “art” pencils at 5 inches long, and they are covered in graphics that correspond to the color of the pencils (a frog on the green pencil, for instance).  And, rather than a shoddy layer of paint, they have a nice matte finish that reminds me of Forest Choice pencils (in a very good way).

But what is especially nice about this pencils is how difficult they are to break and to wear down. Charlotte has only managed to break one pencil (and it was something that might have also broken a Bic pen or a finger) in two weeks, and we haven’t had to sharpen any of them yet, despite filling up most of a sketchbook with them. The one that she broke sharpened up very nicely with a Kum two-holed wedge. On the down side, the cores are also faint, and they only come in 8 colors. But Charlotte seems to really enjoy them as an introduction to colored pencils and to pencils in general.

Parental bonus: They travel better than crayons. There are only 8 colors to keep track of. They also don’t roll off of the table at restaurants and cafés like crayons do. If you have small children in your life, it’s a good bet that they might enjoy these.

(I found mine locally, but they are available from Amazon also and, I’d bet, lots of other online retailers.)


4 thoughts on “Write Start Colored Pencils.”

  1. I agree- These are a true “must have” for anyone whose little one wishes to color on the go in the dreadful summer heat of the South. John turned me on them and the purchase of my second pack (for work, of course) was made only days after I giddily tried out my first one. I work with kids and had both these and traditional Crayola crayons outside during the hot Memorial day holiday and while my poor crayons are now a very interesting abstract art piece I felt drawn to dub “Melted #2”, these pencils not only survived the heat, but also all the abuse several dozen small children could throw at them. Thanks, John, for the great suggestion!

    1. Jenn, next time you’re in town, we should re-melt “Melted #2” into a receptical that’s suitable for hanging/display. :)

  2. These are fabulous pencils. My daughter is in Kindergarten and homeschooled. We use these for everything! All of her school assignments that require coloring, usually with crayon, are done with these. She writes and draws perfectly well with thin pencils, pens, and markers, but these are superb on several counts:

    1. They do travel very well and always accompany us on plane rides.
    2. They cover really well with the ease of a crayon but the quality result of nice colored pencils.
    3. They respond well to differences in pressure. Just today, she acheived a nice light pink as well as a dark red with the single ‘red’ pencil while color-coding the original 13 American colonies.
    4. They sharpen easily and the leads never break.
    5. I just realized today that we have yet to sharpen this pack that we have used for this entire semester! And she uses these at least 5 times per week. They last forever.
    6. These have become *my* go-to sketching pencils because of their flexibility, portability, durability, and color selection.
    7. These may be marketed to toddlers, but I am proud to have them on hand for myself as well as for my school-aged children.

    And, to boot, these are available at my local Walmart for the ‘steal’ of $2.97. I hope that they always carry them because, in three years, once we finally run through the 3 packs that are stashed in every desk and drawing location around the house, we’re gonna’ need them!

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