Over the last few months JJ has started to love colouring and mark making of all kinds. I’ve enjoyed helping him explore different ways of doing that over the summer, breaking away from crayons and paper and using chalk on the fences and slabs outside, but now the colder weather is coming in I’m keen to change it up again and try some mess free alternatives.

Little Brian face paints and paint sticks in their packaging
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Little Brian Paint Sticks

We have been using Little Brian Paint Sticks for around a year now, and they are still my favourite arty activity with the kids. The are an almost completely mess free way of letting your kids do painting without out all the faffing about with brushes and pots of water and paint – which in my house is a disaster waiting to happen. The water soluble paint sticks twist up and down like a glue stick, and the chunky design is perfect for little fists to grab.

A toddler at a little table painting on paper with paint sticks
A piece of paper with a park drawn on it. There is a swing and a big yellow sun amongst green grass
A toddlers hand reaching for a paint stick
A top down view of a little boy at a small table drawing on paper with paint sticks
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Product Range

We have 2 items from the Little Brian Paint Sticks product range – but there are lots more available too. The paint sticks bucket is great for storing your paints at home or on the go. They stand upright within the bucket so the kids can easily access all the colours and help themselves as needed. There are 24 colours in the bucket, 12 classic colours, 6 day-glo colours and 6 metallic colours.

A bucket of paint sticks next to a piece of paper with a rainbow on it
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The one I love though is the Little Brian Giant Paint Stick. It looks so cool and I think makes a fantastic present idea. The giant stick stores all your paint sticks in a funky way, and the kids can pour them out when they want to get to them.

A set of Little Brian paint sticks in a giant paint stick box, next to a rainbow painted on a piece of paper
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What Can You Do With Paint Sticks?

Instinctively we reach for paper and use paints on that – but since Little Brian Paint Sticks are water soluble they can be used for so much more.

  • Window Painting – Let your kids decorate the window for passers by. How about a rainbow, or some snowflakes and a Christmas tree in December? When you want to remove it just use water and a cloth.
  • Mirror Painting – The same as window painting, it is easy to remove when you are done. How about drawing funny features like giant glasses or elephant ears and then see if you can line your face up in the mirror to match?
  • Den Painting – Had a delivery in a giant cardboard box? Use the paint sticks to decorate the box and create a den. The paint is dry in around 60 seconds so there is no worries about getting it on their clothes – and it washes out easily even if they do rub up against it while it’s still wet.
  • Flower Pot Painting – We loved decorating flower pots this summer, and because the paint dried so quickly the children didn’t get messy hands as they turned their pots to paint them.
  • Stone Painting – Kids love discovering decorated rocks when out for a walk so why not make your own? The paint sticks are easily applied to smooth stones, just remember to apply a sealant when you’re done otherwise the paint will wash away in the rain.

Little Brian Face Paints

At his birthday party at the start of the year Zee had face paints, and ever since he has wanted to do them again. I’ve always been reluctant – I didn’t want to have to buy sponges and brushes and the paints themselves – but the Little Brian Face Paints have been a great alternative.

A tray of Little Brian Face Paints with a face paint booklet
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The set comes with 12 colours and a booklet of designs to get you started. Zee asked to be a tiger, and I happily obliged. The face paints go on nicely, but due to their size it is quite hard to get the fine detail that you get using a small brush, but for basic face painting on fidgeting children they work great. The glue stick design is the same as the paint sticks, so even the children intuitively knew what to do and JJ in particular took great delight in painting himself and me.

A little boy with his face painted as a tiger and a ghost painted on his arm.
2 boys with their faces painted, one as a tiger and one as a cheetah
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Zee and his cousin wore their face paints all afternoon, even running up to the bedroom and playing on the bed without them rubbing off on to the sheets. When it was time to remove them they came off easily using just a wet flannel.

The kids love playing with the Little Brian Paint Sticks and Face Paints – and I’ve loved the easy clean up and chance for 5 minutes peace that it gives me.

We were sent a Little Brian Paint Sticks Bucket, Giant Paint Stick and Face Paints for the purposes of this review. All words and opinions are my own.