Growing up, who wasn’t enamored with the paint machine at the hardware store, the special one that shook up cans of paint, and was noisy enough to keep even the most attention-span-starved of kids transfixed? With its Paint Maker, Crayola delivers its own kid version that teaches the basics of color theory, while also providing a fun toy. The set includes Paint Maker Base with crank and mixer, a bottle of base paint, a color mixing guide, paint strips, a slew of paint pots, and more.
Kids create washable, non-toxic paints by first utilizing the chart to determine how much red, yellow, or blue goes into a color. The corresponding number of paint strips, along with a small amount of base paint, go into one of the base pots, which in turn, snaps into place in the Paint Maker Mixer. Now comes the fun part: Turning the crank in one direction for roughly 60 seconds (the instructions say 30 seconds, but I found all my paints needed extra time) causes the Paint Maker Mixer to shake and the paint strips to blend with the base paint. The color mixing guide features 18 different colors that result from different combinations of red, yellow, or blue.
Featuring a bright and happy palette throughout, Crayola’s Paint Maker also comes with attachable palettes that help to minimize any mess; one holds the full or empty paint pots, while the other has paint strip storage and a clear lid. This product is intended for kids ages 8 and up, but could be suitable for a younger crowd, provided there is adult supervision on-hand to help snap the palettes into place, to monitor the mixing of paint, etc. Thanks to the brush and paper that both come packaged with the product, kids can leap into art-making right away. Adults, meanwhile, will probably get a kick out of the paint strip technology—which delivers rich colors, despite consisting of very thin, delicate swatches—and for what the Paint Maker’s mixing apparatus reminds them of. If only they could shake that feeling of familiarity—Oh, wait, now it looks like they can.