Bernice Three Column

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dixon Ticonderoga and Prang - Send Your Kids Back to School With "The Good Stuff" - Review

I received a package of different school products to compare for free from Dixon Ticonderoga for this review.

I have been my kids' teacher since 1989.  As a teacher of over twenty years experience, I know the difference between quality school products and poor ones.  I have always loved Prang watercolors from when I was just a youngster in school, and these watercolors have always been my choice for my children.  I was so happy to be introduced to more of Prang's products and to Dixon Ticonderoga pencils.

I was very please to accept the challenge from Dixon Ticonderoga to compare some of their products to other competitor products.   Dixon Ticonderoga sent me their green and yellow topped Ticonderoga pencils, and an assortment of Prang products: Prang Watercolors, Prang Classic Markers, and Prang Large Triangular Colored Pencils.  Along with these, they also sent comparable products from Walmart, Cra-Z-Art, and Crayola.  I passed them out to my children, and we all had fun seeing the difference between all the products.

Pencils are the most important Back to School product that a student needs.  Over the years, we have been using mechanical pencils because I lost patience waiting for the kids to sharpen their pencils, but my husband much prefers a good regular pencil.  So, when I use a regular pencil, what do I look for, as a teacher, in a pencil? I look for one that is easy to sharpen, will not break apart - either the wood or the graphite - when sharpened, and gives a good clean line when writing.

Dixon Ticonderoga sent me the #2 pencils: Ticonderoga "The World's Best Pencil" and a yellow pencil that is sold at Walmart to compare.  The Ticonderoga pencils were already sharpened and ready to use, while the other pencils needed to be sharpened.  What a hassle is was to sharpen that Walmart pencil!  I had to sharpen off 1 1/2 inches of that pencil before I could at least get a good enough part of the pencil to at least write with - could not get it to a point!

Pencil distributed and sold at Walmart
When writing with this pencil, we found that the graphite lead was just too soft.  We all found that we had trouble keeping our handwriting flowing and smooth.  When we made mistakes, the eraser did not erase properly and left a gooey pink look on the paper.  Messiness is one thing, as a teacher, that I don't like to see!  Not happy with this pencil sold at Walmart.

Dixon Ticonderoga "The World's Best Pencil"

As for the Dixon Ticonderoga "The World's Best Pencil," they are not kidding when they call it the best.  We were all thoroughly happy with its performance when writing.  We all got nice smooth lines with its exclusive graphite lead formula.  When I did make a mistake, the latex free eraser erased my mistake and I saw no evidence that I even made that mistake.  I can tell you assuredly, that we are all very happy with the quality that goes into this pencil.

This pencil is made from premium wood from well-managed forests.  The pencil's finish contains Microban® anti-microbial protection to inhibit the growth of odor and stain causing bacteria on the pencil.  It is totally non-toxic and safe for your little ones to use.

Now for the fun stuff - the art products.  Prang is a division of Dixon Ticonderoga which is something I didn't know about.  As I said earlier, I grew up with Prang's Watercolors, and I have only bought an off-brand once for my children as once was enough.  I am a die-hard Prang watercolor fan because I have found nothing can compare to the quality and brilliance of the colors that Prang offers.  Check out the comparison below:
Prang Watercolors

The Prang Semi-Moist Watercolors beat Cra-Z-Art hands down in quality and color.  Not only that but, Prang comes in a durable white plastic case that is refillable, has slots in the top for mixing colors, and has a wooden brush with soft natural bristles (no.9 size).  The Cra-Z-Art's case has no where to mix colors and comes with a plastic brush with plastic bristles.  Also, it sure seemed like, by the looks of it, that there was less watercolor paint in the Cra-Z-Art package.

For the colored pencils, we compared Prang 5.5mm Large Triangular Colored Pencils with Crayola Colored Pencils.  Both of these brands came with 12 different colors, pre-sharepened and ready to use.  There is a difference in the colors that each packaged offered.  The Prang offers a gold and silver colored pencils compared to Crayola that gives a yellow-green and white pencil colors.  Now, we wished that we had that lighter green with the Prang colored pencils, and white is not a color we generally use.  As for the quality, both offered very nice colors.  It was hard to compare the color quality of each, as both look good.  As for which I would recommend for young children - the Prang.

Why is the Prang Colored Pencils best for your little one?  The shape of the Prang colored pencil differs from the Crayola as it has a large triangular shape.  This large triangular shape helps little hands grasp and hold on to the pencil. This shape will assist your child with a proper grip on the pencil.  The Crayola is thin and the size of a regular pencil.  Because of the large size of the pencils, Prang has provided a Bonus Sharpener in the package.  As a side note: this large triangular shaped Prang Colored Pencil would be perfect for a senior citizen who has trouble holding onto thin pencils.

With the color art markers, we all voted for the Prang.  We could draw both broad and fine lines with both brands of markers, but you can see for yourself that the Prang Art Markers are so much more brighter and richer than the Crayola markers.  The Prang come is a set of 12 and has the extra colors of a light blue and a light green which does not come in the 10 pack of Crayola markers.

There is other differences that make the Prang a much better choice for your child.  Since little ones often forget to put the cap back on, the Prang has a special ink formula, non-toxic, that just will not dry out even if the cap has been left off for 24 hours.  Safety for your child is another concern of Prang as their markers come with a ventilated anti-choking cap.  The Crayola caps are ventilated, too, but I had difficulty breathing through the Crayola caps.  It was very easy to breathe through the Prang cap. 

As a mother and teacher to my children, I was very pleased with the quality of Dixon Ticonderoga pencils and their Prang line of art products that I reviewed.  I highly recommend their products to send your kids to school with this year and every year.

 Save on School Supplies!

My friends at Dixon Ticonderoga have a special coupon offer just for my readers, a coupon for $0.50 off any one (1) Prang Watercolor! This is the first time Dixon Ticonderoga has offered an exclusive coupon for its product.

You can also save $1.00 off 1 Dixon Ticonderoga pencils with a Prang purchase at Dixon Ticonderoga's Facebook.

Since 1795, Dixon Ticonderoga has been empowering creative expression.  Find out more about all the products at the Dixon Ticonderoga website.  You can also find Dixon Ticonderoga on Twitter.

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