When I was asked by my headteacher to return to work in September as a class teacher (as opposed to a cover teacher as I've done for four years), I was excited. There are some subjects that I have really missed teaching over the past few years and Art is the main one; I studied it for GCSE, A level and it was my specialism during my teaching degree. I can't think of a single child in thirteen years of teaching that hasn't enjoyed the tactile qualities of the subject, becoming thoroughly proud of the work that they produce.
I was recently asked if I'd like to review some art resources, and rather than choose something for The Boy (as he has a plethora of craft resources anyway), I asked if I could have a class pack of oil pastels for my class instead. At £39.99 it would have been a huge chunk of my small classroom budget (given to buy essentials) but oil pastels are a very valuable resource for art lessons.
The Cray-Pas oil pastels class pack comes in a large box divided into twelve sections, each containing 36 oil pastels of that specific colour; white, cream, yellow, two greens, blue, purple, pink, red, orange, brown and black (432 in total in the box). This brand are a good size, easy to hold and apply, and they blend well when combined on top of each other. Unlike conventional chalk pastels, they don't smudge that well, but blending it still easy and they are the preferred type of pastels for children to use. These are designed to be used by four year olds and older.
I set my class to work creating an image from a night-time scene in our chosen novel this term, which meant them working on black paper; this really helped the vibrancy of the oil pastels stand out, and it also showed up the textures that they'd chosen to use.
Obviously, most parents reading this won't need a class pack of 432 oil pastels, however Viking also sell oil pastels packs in a variety of other sizes starting at just £2.99.
I have kept one of each colour back for The Boy to experiment with, and we're going to be attempting some seasonal pictures with them during half term. They are such an easy resource to use, and such a tactile tool to use to create vivid images. And the best thing is that they don't create much mess at all!
I was sent this product for the purpose of this review, my opinion is honest and unbiased.