Based in the Bay Area, WLK is Mikee and Jo — working parents of two loving and kind kids. They love sharing stories and tips at the intersection of work, life and kids.

Mess-free and zero clean-up painting for all ages

Mess-free and zero clean-up painting for all ages

As a child growing up in Singapore, our color pencils of choice were Caran d’ache. I don’t see this Swiss-brand getting much use around here TBH so haven’t thought much about it. My mom reminded me recently of their existence and how they can be transformed to water color. I typically am lazy and don’t like setting up paint supplies but was recently introduced to the Pentel Aquash brush. It has a reservoir that stores water. With a gentle, squeeze, the brush gets wet. If you need to clean the brush to switch colors, you just dab on some paper towels and squeeze more water out. It’s freaking brilliant. I always keep it filled so Emmy can help herself whenever she wants.

For ages 4-adults

  1. Swiss-made Caran d'Ache Fancolor Color Pencils ($15-ish) or UK brand Derwent Watercolor pencils (12 count for $14). Note that I would not buy any other cheaper brands like Crayola or Pentel because those break very easily during sharpening and use. You’ll end up only using half the pencil. IKEA has a small $4 watercolor pencil set that I would be okay using for travel.

  2. Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush (3-tips for $15) or 1 large tip for $7.

  3. Optional: Clipboard. This makes me less concerned about water seeping through your paper. Amazon basics 6-pack for $10 or $1.99 one from target

  4. Optional: Prismacolor Premier Pencil Sharpener (Great $2.99 cart filler!)

  5. Optional: Canson XL Series Mix Media Paper Wire bound pad

For ages 3-7

Water Wow On-the-go

This is the “occupations” set which is super cute. They of course have the usual selection of animals, vehicles, princesses, letters/alphabets etc. There are 6-packs for $25 and 4-packs for $15. My favorite is the bible stories release! We used these extensively for travel and road trips.

Deluxe Water Wow

This one is the deluxe size 10”x10” version for kids 4-7 years old. It even comes with a red lens scope to find hidden details in the pictures!

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