Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary sample of one or more of the products or services mentioned below in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/ or believe will be good for my readers. In some cases, an affiliate link has been applied. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Company Bio: Crayon Rocks were developed by Barbara Lee, a special needs teacher who worked with elementary aged children for 23 years. She invented Crayon Rocks after being inspired by occupational therapist Jan Olsen and her Handwriting Without Tears program. She learned from Mrs. Olsen how important it was for children to develop a strong tripod grip early in their education process — handwriting skills depend upon this. Seeing that a simple tool to develop these skills in young children wasn’t readily available, Ms. Lee set out to develop one.
Product Details: The Valentine Gift Bag contains nineteen colors, the 16 summer colors and an extra red, pink and white, all tucked into a red organza bag with the Hearts tag. Packed in a kraft box in red heart tissue paper. Lasts longer than candy and isn’t fattening.
Personal Experience: I am always on the lookout for new creative outlets and unique educational products for Xander. I recently stumbled across a company called Crayon Rocks. They make a uniquely-shaped crayon in a variety of colorful sets. They provided me with the Valentine Gift Bag in exchange for my honest review.
I was immediately impressed by the care that went into sending a lovely package. If you’ve been reading my reviews for awhile you know I’m a sucker for great packaging. It felt like a little gift had arrived in the mail. They had every little detail down to heart-patterned tissue and a little red gingham pouch. Too adorable!
Naturally, Xander was very curious. I had told him the package was for him, after all. The look of confusion on his face when I told him they were crayons was priceless! He wouldn’t believe me until I drew a heart on his paper. His eyes lit up and he grabbed a crayon and started creating. He’s been drawing with them several times a day since they arrived. They have really inspired him to create lots of lovely drawings!
I learned from my own drawing with the Crayon Rocks, and from watching Xander, that their shape causes you to intuitively grab them in a particular way. This grip is the tripod grip that becomes so essential to developing handwriting skills later on. I could definitely see this being a great tool for preschool-age and special needs children. The crayons are easy to hold and feel almost soothing in the hand.
The crayons draw very smoothly and evenly. The colors look a bit dull in the crayons, but come out vibrant on the page. The color palette in the Valentine Gift Bag provides a great selection of the basic rainbow of colors, along with varying shades and a few skin tones. It’s a very complete set of crayons in one little pouch. They also offer many other combinations and sets on their site, including a Just Rocks in a Box set for classrooms and daycares… or busy families!
I overall preferred them to that well-known brand in the yellow boxes. In fact, for me, I’d have a hard time going back! They are a bit higher in price than traditional crayons, but the quality and benefits balance that out. I need to give this one a well-deserved five-star rating!
Pros: Unique shape that improves tripod grip. Vibrant colors. Fun gift packs including party favors!
Cons: Higher cost than traditional crayons.