I’m admittedly not the biggest advocate of the humble arts and crafts pastime, where small people are concerned. I have quite a base level resentment of mess (which makes me the most fun mum in the world, right?!). But when Chalkola sent me some of their chalk markers to review, I was won over by the idea of controllable, wipe-clean mess. What could go wrong?
Very little, in fact. These markers are lovely. They sent me the Chalkola platinum series jumbo markers, plus their brand new set of premium wet wipe markers which contains six metallic pens as well as 15 chalk markers. They work on all non-porous surfaces, so chalkboards, whiteboards, plastics, glass, mirrors, china. Yes, china. More on that later.
They look gorgeous and you can tell they’re of a high quality – as well as being great for children, they’re also perfect for designing displays and signage…I imagine the more artistic mum could whip up a snowscape storm on the living room window at Christmas. A metaphorical storm, you understand. Not an actual snowstorm. Although…
We have the obligatory chalkboard / whiteboard easel where we can never find the chalks, and the whiteboard marker pens have long dried up. Not so with these beauties – once you’ve got the ink going by shaking the pen and dabbing on some paper, they give a smooth flow without those soul-destroying little blobs to muck up your work. They’re easy to clean too – if the ink is still wet, it can be wiped straight off the surface. If it’s been left to dry, some damp kitchen towel will work a treat. We used the markers to do lots of handwriting practise and unflattering portraits (gosh, mummy needs to cut back on the chocolate doesn’t she?) and talked about drawing a “go away” sign on the window to deter monsters (cute).
I decided to run a little experiment using the markers, as the big child has turned into an absolute SHIT with morning wake-ups. We think it’s because she’s used to coming into our bed early at the weekends, where we let her watch cartoons on our phones until it’s daylight outside. It was the Easter Weekend that made everything a bit hazy, as she cottoned on that mummy and daddy wouldn’t be at work on Monday and ergo, perhaps she could chance her arm with a bonus telly-in-bed day. Since then, most mornings we’ll get a little interloper, at any time from 5am to 6.30am.
Some mornings, she’ll pretend that she needs a wee. (“You just walked past the bathroom, poppet. Back you go…”) Other times, she’ll just stand next to you in silence and stroke your face, which is a bit unnerving. Or, she’ll sit on the floor next to the bed and cry. Occasionally, she’ll just clamber in and deploy a series of subtle kicks until one of us wakes up.
Whatever she does, I’m quite keen to put a stop to it, so I decided to fashion a sort of sleep training clock using a plain white plate and my markers. I know, you can buy an actual sleep training clock – we did, and she ignores it. She gives zero fucks if he’s sleepy blue or chirpy yellow. I thought I could mock up a static clock face for weekday mornings, and she can match the image to the time on her actual clock. She can recognise numbers, but obviously she can’t quite tell the time – so telling her that she can come in at 6.40am is a bit useless.
Ta-dah! It did work, happily. Weekends are still a total gamble but, you know, as long as I get to hit snooze at least once on a Monday morning then I’m all good.
The guys at Chalkola have very kindly given me a discount code to share with my readers. So, if you’d like to try the chalkboard pen and marker range at 15% off, head over to their website or any of the Chalkola listings on Amazon and enter code 15OFFSTR
-SJW May 2017
Disclaimer: I received the above mentioned markers in exchange for a review. All views and opinions are my own. For my details on how I work with brands, please take a look at my full Disclosure Statement.