Maybe it is just our family, but we generate a TON of paper mess in our house. Bug, T-Bird, and Little Chief spend 87% of their day creating works of art, maps, notes, comic strips, stories, graphs, signs, charts, instructions, codes, recipes, origami, and projects of all sorts with PAPER. We re-purpose and reuse as much as any human possibly can, and thankfully our township has single-stream recycling and we can easily ensure that the paper reaches a facility where (hopefully) additional post-consumer magic happens. But, from a human energy perspective, I can tell you that I sorta kinda despise finding all of this paper waiting for me 46 times a day.
This is like 3 minutes worth of paper generation in my house. It. Never. Stops.
Of course we have spent tons of time trying to devise complicated and Pinterest-worthy systems for deciding which art work makes it to the coveted “fridge” spot; which pieces get entered into the homeschool folder; and which pieces simply get used as kindling or stuffed into the recycling. I would be lying if I said any of these systems has lasted more than a week. I’d also be stretching the truth if I said that I have not just gathered up an entire pile of drawings and stuffed them into the bottom of the trashcan after everyone has gone to bed. Dealing with all the paper around here could be a full time job. But a full time job that makes you want to pull all of your hair out and drink wine before noon. Okay, I’m being hyperbolic, but I am simply trying to convey how much blood, sweat, and tears has gone into picking up paper in my house: big sheets, little sheets, colored sheets, graph paper, computer paper, newspaper, paper bags, envelopes (oh dear, the envelopes…) paper, paper, paper. I really buy into the idea that providing plenty of material and resources for kids to be creative with is a vital for learning and mastering many skills, but sometimes I cringe at the amount of waste despite our “green” efforts. And did I mention that it kind of drives me batty to have 67 paper messes to clean up per day?
Deluxe in owl print and pocket-sized in robot print. Adorable!
That is why I was so excited to see these incredibly innovative Washable Coloring Books from my friend Nichole at Nix The Paper *. First of all, the only thing I like more than supporting WAHM’s is supporting WAHM’s who are also really groovy people! Second, these things are adorably cute. I am a sucker for textiles of all sorts, but fabric really makes me giddy. However, when I got them in my hands, the thing that REALLY impressed me was the fantastic quality and attention to detail in the construction. We got one of the smaller Pocket Sized Washable Coloring Books (5″x5″ $7.50 each) done up in adorable robot fabric and a bigger Deluxe Washable Coloring Book ($25 with 6 coloring pages!) in a bright owl fabric. Both books came with a supply of chalk-crayons in the built-in pouch and a special microfiber cloth for wiping the surfaces clean before starting over again. Both have wipeable white coloring pages and also blackboard style pages. Right away the kids loved comparing and contrasting how the different colors looked when they were on the different backgrounds.
Checking 'em out for the first time!
An entire 25 minutes of mess-free artwork? Priceless.
Little Chief is totally impressed that his blue crayon works on the black page!
We still generate some paper around here, don’t get me wrong. But if given the option, the littles prefer to use these fun alternatives instead. They really seem to enjoy being able to erase only what they choose to erase, which makes “editing” their work a possibility now instead of starting all over again with a new sheet of paper.
Full Disclosure: I need to mention that my kids would fall into the “rugged” category when it comes to the things they play with… and they have yet to ruin these coloring books after 2 whole weeks of use. That is endorsement enough as far as I am concerned! The fact that they are also cute enough to take everywhere is another bonus since most places we frequent are probably pretty sick of my kids stealing napkins and coupon flyers to draw on while we spend money there.
These Washable Coloring Books are at the top of my gift-giving options for birthdays this year, for sure! Be sure to check out Nix The Paper on Facebook for more fabric options (you can get a customized book!) and other fantastic products like Cloth Diapers and Homeopathic Remedy Rolls!
*I was given these products at no charge in order to review them. The review is entirely my own genuine experience. A positive review was not expected or required by Nix The Paper. Thank you to Nichole for giving me the opportunity to promote and support her work!