> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Make Art Come Alive For Your Kids With Kidzaw Art kits! (review)
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Make Art Come Alive For Your Kids With Kidzaw Art kits! (review)

I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

We've always exposed Miss Grace to great art, thanks to our local art museums,and the varied traveling shows that have been featured. But you always want to give your kids a more hands on approach to understanding art and the famous artists, whose works they admire. While you can go the lap book route, I much prefer the varied options that Kidzaw.com offers parents and teachers! Kidzaw is an amazing company that was started by a parent, who like us, wanted to give children and more inspiring way to connect to art. Jane Chadesh started with her local pre-school and once she saw how kids responded to learning about art history and the masters, she knew she had an amazing idea that needed to be expanded. 
The result was Kidzaw, her company that is dedicated to inspiring and educating children about the wonders of art! Their On the Go Kits provide everything you need, anywhere, anytime, for art and creative expression, whereas their Mastersculpz and Masterkitz product lines engages children to the great works of art and their painters, in a hands on way. The Masterkitz line includes such great works as Flower Myth, Black Lines, The Starry Night, The Tree of Life, Water Lilies, Sunflowers, The Great Wave and The Red Studio. We were recently able to check out their Master Kitz The Starry Night, and we wanted to share our experience with you, so you could see how great these kits are!

Masterkitz the Starry Night

Each of the Masterkitz included everything your child needs to recreate the classic piece of art, with their own interpretation of it. As you can see above, you not only get the paint and special tools needed to complete the swirls of The Starry Night, you a learning booklet about Vincent Van Gogh and info on how he made the amazing painting, so they can better understand it.  

Masterkitz the Starry Night roller

As you can see, the kit comes with 2 rollers- 1 regular foam one, and 1 with a special swirl pattern to it, to recreate the swirling background of the painting. Then you get 2 standard size jars of paint of blue and black, and 1 smaller white one. You also get a 4 pack of oil pastels (white, orange, yellow and blue), to help finish the painting. You do get 2 pieces of sturdy art paper, in case of accidents, or if your child wants to make 2 masterpieces! Plus you get a page of decals to put on the painting, to help your child create the swirling stars.

The Starry Night stencil

But the thing that will have you, as a parent, oohing and aahing, is the laser cut stencil that your child can use on top of their painting, to save them time painting in the buildings and fields!

The Starry Night instructions

You also get a very detailed 'inspirations' instruction sheet. As you can see the sheet goes STEP BY STEP, with COLORED illustrations, so your child can see exactly what they need to do next. Now these can work 2 ways- if as a parent you have NO art experience and you have younger kids doing the kit, they will help you TEACH it! On the other hand, if you have an older child, they can use the inspiration sheet by THEMSELVES! Yeah, skill training! Which was the option we chose!

This year, Art has been an added component, versus a main subject. When ever we can add art in, we do! Whether it's a museum trip, hands on art, or a lesson, it is the fun part of her school work! And that's something I wanted to achieve. I didn't want art (or music) to be boring and tedious, like curriculum units can be. I want her to experience them as a whole, and how they relate to everything around us, not just as part of a text. I want music and art to be part OF her, not just something she knows! I want her to seek the enjoyment and pleasure from it! So I wanted her to not see this kit as a 'lesson', but as a creative outlet, where she just happened to learn a thing or two, like how Impressionism is based more on the feelings of the artist versus form.

Masterkitz the Starry Night collage 1

The steps are very simple. First, tape down your paper- this is important, as your child will be rolling paint and you don't want your paper to slide off the tape, when they do so! Then you peel off the decals and place them where you want to on your paper. And this moment Miss Grace was tempted to do exactly what was on the master painting, but after a few minutes of explaining that this is supposed to be HER interpretation, she changed it up a bit. As you can see, your child will paint OVER the decals, and they will get removed after (more on that in a minute). Your child will use the special roller, as you can see, to make the swirled background. I have to admit it's a pretty cool effect, and we're looking forward to using it on other paintings! Now here is where there are a couple of quibbles with the instructions, that we had:

Masterkitz the Starry Night collage 2

The first thing is that they don't tell you how long you should let the paint DRY, before removing the decals OR moving on to the next step, which is laying the stencil OVER what you have just painted. Miss Grace's OCD came out and she decided to wait for the paint to DRY, before moving onto that next step, as there were multiple layers, because of the roller, and she was afraid they would glop under the stencil, and she would loose her effect. I agreed with her, so we left it til it dried. That might have been an error,as it resulted in problem #2- the decals were very hard to pull OFF. As you can see, two of them did not want to let go of the paper, and she had tears off the top layer of the paper! I knew they would be fixable, but for her OCD, it was a gigantic problem. 

As for the third issue, it seems minor, but I think it is a bit of a flaw in the stencil design. She was actually very careful with the stencil, and taped it down, and had me help hold it in place (as it kept trying to roll up, from having been rolled in the box it came in). But, it still tore on the bottom, so if she uses it again, it will have to be taped back together. Maybe it needs a bigger bottom border, I'm not sure...And yes, the black paint would not come all the way off of it, which didn't both either of us.

Masterkitz the Starry Night collage 3

As you can see, above and below, we were able to fix the decals problems, with paint and the pastels. These are amazing pastels by the way! Miss Grace was able to blend them by herself with a minimum of fuss, and achieve the exact color and motion, she was looking for. She decided that while van go had had the stars in heavy motion, she didn't want that. She wanted it to look like the moon and the stars where right above the earth and creating light effects on the fields and buildings. I was actually surprised she blended her colors to put in some green!

Masterkitz the Starry Night and Miss Grace

As you can see the final result is not as dark as the painting that inspired it, but she loves it, and it's on the mantle for everyone to see when they come in! After reading up on Van Gogh in the included booklet (which is the back of the instruction sheet), she decided to not let what was expected rule her painting. While it might not be as exact as the kit is supposed to inspire, I feel like she truly stuck to the more impressionist concept by going for less detail, and more open space, where the eye could fill in and 'see' the color emotion of the space, which is more apparent when you step back from the painting. And she showed me how she truly understood the concept of impressionism, versus taking a 25 question quiz!

 She also decided she wants to use the stencil differently on the second painting, and make a daytime Van Gogh inspired painting. We had studied Van Gogh last year for a museum trip, and she was fascinated by his still life paintings. I can't wait to see how she recycles the leftovers and adds in from her art stash (room? I swear her stash is almost as big as mine now! LOL), to create a painting that works the 2 modes together! It's a concept she also learned about after a recent modern art museum visit, so seeing how it, and what she learned about how realism affected Van Gogh, affects the next painting will be exciting to see! That is something I am so glad she has understood- that you take what you like from the masters and current artists, and you can use those approaches TOGETHER to make something that is uniquely YOURS! She had a lot of fun with this kit and it is one we would highly recommend as away to encourage your child's creativity and love of art! 

You can check out how our fellow reviewers used the kit as part of their curriculum studies, mini-units and more, by clicking the picture below:
Master Kitz The Starry Night {Kidzaw.com Reviews}
Be sure to follow Kidzaw  on their social media links, to find out about specials, new kits and about art education: FacebookTwitter, Pinterest and YouTube! And don't forget their fun party kits, that allow fun painting parties for up to 12 kids- they're a great idea for upcoming school holidays and birthday parties!

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