Our 4-year-old daughter loves to draw and we’re always on the look out for new ways for her to express her art. We don’t use our blackboards a great deal so when the chance came along to revive them with some chalk markers from Chalkola, I was keen to give them a try.


Tilly using the metallic Chalkola pens on her blackboard table

We’ve all seen the blackboards outside funky gastro pubs and independent coffee shops with eye-catching messages and art. The liquid chalk pens that make these can now be used at home with a range of child-safe pens from Chalkola.

Bright and child friendly

Tilly getting creative with Chalkola on the easel

The immediate thing we noticed and like about the Chalkola pens was how bright they were on the blackboard. Against the black background the colours really glow. The metallic pens aren’t quite as bright but they have their own shiny style. They’re a good deal more vivid than anything else, which Tilly really enjoyed, and the brightness remains when dry, unlike paint.

Something that’s crucial with arts and crafts is the need for materials to be washable. I’ve come a cropper with some child paint in the past that has permanently stained clothes like nobody’s business. Happily there are no such concerns here. We had a trial by fire as Tilly got some of the bright pink liquid chalk on her beloved bedtime teddy. Fortunately the washable credentials of Chalkola shone through and the stain was gone in a normal machine wash without any need for Vanish.

Getting started and cleaning up

It’s worth mentioning that the Chalkola pens (with the exception of the metallic pens) need to be shaken and the nibs pushed to get the ink flowing the first time they’re used. This is definitely something for the grown ups to do before handing them to the children, so that they’re ready to go.

The other part that normally requires some adult intervention is clean up, as a wet wipe or glass cleaning spray with a paper towel is needed to clean the marker. To be honest I don’t mind this, as most of Tilly’s felt tip pens need a wet wipe after being used on the whiteboard as otherwise she goes through a mass of paper.

Note that the pens aren’t recommended for porous surfaces such as those with chalk paint. Although we do have a chalk wall we stuck to using the blackboard easel and table surfaces with the pens and they worked a treat.

Great for writing and drawing

Like many small children, Tilly’s artistic expression ranges from the thoughtful to the exuberantly chaotic. The pens are definitely at their best for writing or drawing. Full on colouring is generally best left for painting or crayons, in my experience, although the chunkier 15mm Chalkola markers can be pretty effective for covering a bigger area.


If you’ve got a blackboard or even whiteboard the Chalkola pens make for a great additional way to have fun drawing and writing. As with all new things it takes a while to work out the best way to make use of them. I’ve got some ideas I’d like to try out such as making our mealtime menus or for play making shop signs on the easel.

You can buy Chalkola markers below using the following links:


Or visit Chalkola.com to find out more.

Disclaimer: We were sent Chalkola free of charge to review. All views expressed in the review are our own honest opinions.

Tagged on:                         

Leave a Reply