I've been walking past, pausing, thinking about, and then deciding against buying Crayola's paint brush pens, at our local grocery store, for the last few months.
Finally, in a moment of madness, I tossed a couple of packages into the cart, for the girls to try out. I paid somewhere around $3.50 for each pack. They are more on Amazon, so I'd say look for them in a store.
When the children were toddlers, I loved the Crayola No Mess, ColorWonder products. They weren't exactly mess free, but they were close (I'm not being reimbursed for these opinions, either - just sharing mom to mom), and the children really enjoyed using them.
These paint brushes, with the paint in the brush, promised to be no spill, and low mess, too. But honestly, they didn't look, to me, like they held much paint. I envisioned them running dry midway through the first masterpiece. Still, I figured we'd never know until we tried them.
I'm happy to say, we found the paint pens to be pretty much as promised. They are low mess. They don't splatter, even when flicked (I tried), or dropped (which happens).
Some, but not all of the colors blend - just like paint. Purple and yellow, for instance, make a lovely, tree trunk brown, and yellow and blue do produce green, but we couldn't quite get an orange from the red and yellow, or a purple from the blue and red. But, purple is an included color, anyway.
The younger girls enjoyed the pens (that are somewhere between paint brushes and markers) so much, that it wasn't long before they were joined by one of their older sisters, ready to give them a try, too.
All three girls gave the paint pens high praise. The younger girls painted away throughout the day. I enjoyed the fact they could come, and go without a lot of set up, or clean-up involved. And, after several hours of work, and many more paintings than these pictured here...
...we didn't have any of our paint pens go dry. All in all, a far better performance than we expected. Not quite painting, but close enough to satisfy my young artists - and clean enough to pull out during spring cleaning, without adding to the mess.