Who didn’t grow up with Crayola?  I’m sure we all did!  I still remember that 64-crayon box with built-in sharpener that I loved when I was younger.  A couple of Saturdays ago, the #SoMoms were invited by Crayola to introduce their new brand – T-Pencil.  Apparently, Amspec has been making pencils for other brands for several years but finally decided to make their own line, given their long experience in manufacturing kid-safe, quality pencils. 

The event was held in Gymboree Shangri-La.  E is a Gymboree regular and happily, the event was facilitated by someone he was familiar with – his Art teacher – Teacher Rain.  Meanwhile, since N loves art and craft, she excitedly got to work on the materials laid out.

coloring Gymbo with Crayola

We have boxes of crayons at home and since N was already in the creative phase, E started early.  Of course, parents will always worry about their kids eating the crayons.  Amspec emphasized that with their products, parents have one less thing to worry about because the pigments used for their products have passed the European EN 71.3 testing. Further, even the labels of the crayons are made from non-toxic inks, which are soya inks.  Of course, we still watch E and luckily, he learned early on that crayons are for coloring and not for eating 🙂

the kids and their work
For the afternoon’s event, E happily designed a circus animal using paper plates and a circus hat using coffee filters with So Big Crayons and PipSqueak markers.  N busied herself with her lion puppet using a paper bag and crayons and with a shading activity using T-Pencils. 
We also met Amspec’s Mr. Wood (CEO and company president) and Tina who gave us some fun facts about Amspec and their products.  Did you know that the Crayola we have been using for years is locally manufactured by Amspec or Amalgamated Specialties Corporation in their factories in Muntinlupa and Cavite?
Mr. Wood and Tina

What’s so special about the T-Pencil?  Amspec emphasized that all raw materials used for T-Pencil – from its cedar wood, lacquer, rubber, ferrules or metal parts – are tested to ensure the absence of toxic elements.  Further, the graphite core (or what we call lead, but is not really lead) is consistently centered.  This graphite core is glued to the wood from end to end – not just in spots, which ensures that the tip doesn’t break easily when being sharpened.  That is my pet peeve when buying cheap pencils – you end up wasting time, sharpening until the very end, without finding a usable tip.

Of course, an event in Gymboree won’t be complete without their signature activities – story telling, singing. Since E is a regular, he was familiar with Teacher Rain and spent the afternoon trying to get her attention. Heehee!

Story telling activity

I was amazed by the multitude and variety of Crayola products now locally available.  Since this was their event, they made sure that they had a display showcasing their products, which made shopping very easy! 😉

N was in arts and crafts heaven!
I was quite happy with the 80-page coloring kit.  We brought this kit in our carry-on and despite the more than 3-hour delay, there were no complaints from N as she was quite busy choosing which pages to color.  

Did you grow up with Crayola? What were your favorite products?  What products are you currently using with your own kids?

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