But in practice they weren't as cool. My big beefs with them were these:
- The color didn't show up immediately on the paper. My kids would get frustrated saying the markers "don't work" before the color started showing up.
- The color wasn't bright or bold. It kind of got muted in translation.
- The color ran after a while. If my girls drew something and we put it on the fridge to admire for a few days, it would end up looking like a watered-down version of itself.
- The regular paper got boring really fast, and the "coloring books" were expensive. $4.99 for 18 pages? My kids could go through that in two days!
Enter Miss E's last birthday. She received a small Color Wonder pack from her teacher at church, which she colored through in--you guessed it--two days. Since the markers were still good, she wanted to keep using them, so we dug out our old pad of Color Wonder paper and she had some fun with it.
During this process, though, I was struck with an idea. One of those "why didn't I think of that before?" kind of ideas.
We frequently print out coloring pages on the computer. I can't afford to buy new coloring books every time Miss E sees a new movie. So we print coloring pages off the internet. "Why not do that on the Color Wonder paper?" I thought.
When I went to try it, though, it just so happened that they had used up the last of the Color Wonder paper we had bought 3 years ago. And the next time I went to Walmart they were out of plain Color Wonder paper--just the $5 coloring books in stock. Finally a few weeks later, we found a pad on another shopping trip and I was able to try out my idea.
Here are the uncolored pages after printing:
I tried printing one with our inkjet printer and one with our laser printer. They look exactly the same after printing, but the ink on the inkjet one ran when I colored through the lines too much. It would have bugged me, but my 2 year old didn't care one bit.
Here's her finished Wonder Woman:
I noticed after they finished coloring that the colors seemed brighter. The picture above was taken three days after coloring and the colors haven't run either, so I'm guessing Crayola has improved their technology since our first go with Color Wonders. I colored the Monsters U picture (below) today and was impressed with the vibrance of the colors again.
If you would like to print your own Color Wonder coloring pages, follow the steps below.
1. Find the picture you want to color online. One of my favorite sites is www.coloring-book.info.
2. Tear a page out of the Color Wonder pad. This is what mine looked like. The pages from it were 8x10 instead of 8.5x11.
3. Put the page into your printer's tray (take out any other paper) and slide the paper guide until it meets the paper.
4. Print the page using your browser's print function (not the website's or the pdf reader's). This way you can specify the size of the paper you want to print on.
In Internet Explorer, you get to the print function by clicking on the cog symbol in the upper right hand corner. In Firefox, you click on the Firefox button in the upper left. In Chrome, you click on the three-line symbol in the upper right (then choose "print" and "print using system dialog at the bottom of the print options). If you use safari, I apologize. My husband is anti-Apple computers. He won't let one near our house. Hopefully it's not much different than the other browsers.
Now I use Firefox as my browser, so this screenprint is from Firefox, but Chrome and Internet Explorer are similar. In those browsers look for "Preferences" instead of "Properties."