People call me all the time looking for paint-by-number activities. When we opened, my husband (and business partner) was coming off of four years teaching art and art history to high school students, and he encouraged me to avoid paint-by-number activities in favor of more open-ended artistic endeavors.
When I first saw Sentosphere Artistics (not recently – we’ve had these for a while), I realized that they were an outstanding alternative to paint-by-number, yielding an unfailingly beautiful product while still encouraging creativity. Unfortunately, the packaging is not so hot, and most people don’t even notice these great kits.
Basically, each box contains several design cards, some vibrant inks, a brush and a plastic pallette. The cards are unique because the designs are outlined and defined with a waxy coating that does not absorb the ink. The child can paint all over, mixing colors to and fro, and the results are always keepsakes. I’ve tried these myself on a few occasions, and I think they are one of the nicest, most unique art activities in the store. Plus, the included pallette is really well-designed, and will minimize the mess (for kids who are old enough to be careful).