I'm a sucker for any art project that touts itself as "mess-free," so when the Powder Art folks wrote to me about their project kits, I wanted to know more. Veteran Parenthacker Jill and her two boys gave Powder Art kits a try, and wrote this review:
We made our Powder Art projects today. My five and eight year-old boys were eager testers. They both love art and are often restrained by our house's lack of a dedicated "messy area." Each kit came with four designs to be colored with a dry "paint" powder made from recycled paper. The project is simple; each design comes printed on sticker paper. Each time you want to paint a section of the picture, you peel off the backing and color it in with the powder. [Note: Powder Art is safe for kids of all ages, but is intended for the 5 and older crowd. — Ed.]
All in all, it was a fun project for the boys, but it required a bit of help from me. The first step was to fill the palettes with powder which I found to be a pain — I wish they had come prefilled. Next, it was time to paint. Neither could peel the stickers off independently, and I helped a good bit. We also found that it was easier to get the paint onto the paper with fingers rather than the paintbrush that came with the kit.
The box showed the colored-in pictures on the cover which I hid it from the boys to see if they'd be more creative. My five year-old was, but my eight year-old saw the color-by-number chart and wanted to follow it. The area that he did "wrong" upset him and there was no way to "erase" (his only complaint about the product). The 5yo made a "red stuffed animal monkey" and was happy.
The project left behind a gray dust on the table, chairs and floor (and faces and hands) — which easily cleaned up — as well as tiny bits of sticker paper. While this is not "mess-free" in my opinion (I truly put Color Wonder kits in that category, but won't buy them due to their price) it was simple and easily cleaned up. It was a fun for the kids, and I'm sure they would soon learn to peel off the tiny stickers. (Maybe Mama shouldn't cut their fingernails so close!)
Jill is a stay at home mom of two boys, Pook and Bug. In her former life she was a Special Education Preschool teacher. With both, she has always tried to provide lots of opportunities for creative art.
Win it! We've got Powder Art kits for three lucky Parenthackers! Get in the running by telling us your favorite mess-free (or easily cleaned up) art project in the comments. I'll draw three names at random tomorrow (March 17) at 5pm PST, and will announce the winners tomorrow evening. Good luck!