Our Mess-free Experience With Thin Stix | Review

Who: The Pencil Grip, Inc.
What: Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors
Why: To see if these solid tempera paint Thin Stix really look and feel like paint.
Where: Available at retailers like Amazon and Toys R Us.


I've seen a lot of bloggers rave about the Kwik Stix, so I was curious to try the Thin Stix to see if these really look and feel like paint.

Links to Amazon are affiliate links. 

What is the age/grade range?

Intended for ages 3 and up (not to be used with children under 3 yrs).

Who did I use these with?

I used these with my 4th grader, Eliana, and my Kindergartener, Bo, who sat and "painted" together, and then with Malachi for a fun and relaxing art project.

What kind of projects did we do?
  • Bo decorated his math book cover and painted a heart rock.
  • Eliana decorated the cover of one of her notebooks.
  • Malachi did a faux stained glass painting

Samples of work my children created:

Do they look and feel like paint?

I painted some paper balloons to help us learn the colors in French to see.

Thin Stix have a textured look to them, but a smooth silky feel. They paint like a soft crayon or marker by the marks they make, which I suppose could look like brush strokes. I liked that when I wrote on them with a black Sharpie, the pen wrote smooth and clear and glided easily over the surface. I don't think they go on as smoothly as paint, but they color on a variety of surfaces with bright, vivid colors like paint.

Are they mess-free?

The paint does not smear once it is dry, and no water is needed to "paint." These can also be used on a variety of surfaces, such as paper, poster board, wood, and even rocks. They also clean up easily with a wet rag. Furthermore, they did not melt when we left them in the hot sun for a short time. I'm not sure how long they can be left out, but they were fine by the time I remembered them and they were hot to the touch.

How did we like the Thin Stix?

My 6 year old, Bo, thought they were fun. He said they are easy to color with, the color comes out good, and they dry quickly - in 90 seconds. (He read that on the box!) He liked the Classic Colors and his experience was a positive one.

My 10 year old, Eliana, thought they were okay, but they were not what she expected. For example, they were hard to color with because the tips were "thick like a glue stick." Furthermore, the colors are bright and vivid but she did not think they were very pretty. She really was not happy with her design and wished she hadn't tried the Thin Stix on her new notebook. I think she would have liked the colors in the Metalix Thin Stix set or the 24 pack with the neon colors better and would have been more inspired to paint and decorate with colors she thought were pretty.

My 12 year old, Malachi, thought they were interesting. They were bright colors, but he didn't like that his mistakes could not be covered up. He accidentally got red on a yellow patch and couldn't paint over it with more yellow without it smearing and making a smudge.

I have never tried the original Kwik Stix, so I can't compare the thickness of these to them, but these seemed thick and hard to keep within the lines when coloring, but if you use the very edge, you can color close to the lines.

How did this benefit (or not) my homeschool?

It's always fun to try new products! It made for a quick and easy way to distract my 6 year old from the computer on a rainy day and a nature project outside. The no-mess aspect is nice, so I tossed these in the craft bucket which is full of supplies that the kids can use without supervision. All other paint is in the art bucket. So, this gives my children more options to be creative.

Would I recommend it?

Bo says yes because they are fun! He recommends them for ages 4 and older because three year olds will suck on them. (He read the note on the box that they are not for children younger than three).

Eliana says she would recommend them to children younger than herself (10) because they are like crayons, and she doesn't like using crayons anymore. (I still think she would have like the other colors more).

Malachi says yes. Most everybody would like them.

I'd rather have my children experience real paint (mess and all). However, sometimes a mess free experience is called for. I think young children would especially enjoy them, but any child who likes to color would enjoy these for a mess-free paint experience at home and on the go.

No Mess Art with Thin Stix Classic Colors {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}
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