Oh, the joy. Smelly markers! This week, I've decided to introduce my 2nd graders to the sheer wonder of Mr. Sketch markers, and all the world is beautiful and fruit-scented. My classroom smells like a box of Sweet Tarts. I have been teaching them to "paint with the markers" and so far they are taking care of the fragile felt tips very well. This takes discipline for 7 year-olds, but they agree that it's worth it for the aromatherapy benefits. Ha! I didn't get into the aromatherapy thing exactly, but the markers do in fact have a calming effect on the kiddos. You think I'm kidding? They work on ME, too! Baby, when I crack these open, I feel like that jumpin' watermelon on the box.
Here's why I love this product: They last about 3 times as long as Crayola markers, they come in better colors, and the chisel tips are versatile. Plus the casing of the markers are the actual color, instead of just being white with colored details. All these things make them more expensive, but I've come to see that they are definitely worth the cost. But here's a tip: DON'T BUY THE CLASSROOM PACK. Those come with weird foam tips on them, and while they still work just fine if you get used to them, they are not nearly as brilliant as the felt tips.
Classpack (pink) vs. 18 color pack (purple)
The classpack also only has 12 colors. I like to just buy a couple of 18 color packs, and split them into warm and cool colors. Some of my projects only require warm or cool colors, and also this reinforces that concept all year!
I find that this also saves time when kids are putting away supplies.
Ok. So how do you keep the kids from turning the lovely chiseled felt tips into furry fluff balls with no ink left in them? Paint with markers. I get 'em young, and when I first crack open the markers, I show them how to color. I say, "You think you know how to color? Well, watch THIS!"
Then I show them how coloring in a zig-zag motion takes forever, and the markers don't look as pretty. I show them to color in a downward motion, in one direction.
Yesterday I kept saying, "Go in ONE DIRECTION. ONE. DIRECTION." Of course, a kid burst out singing, "Baby you light up my world like nobody else..." And I laughed myself sick. Then I had to play the song just to get it out of my head. I am probably going to make a poster using the One Direction album cover, and replace all their faces with Mr. Sketch marker heads.
UPDATE: I made this.