also have fond memories of Caran d'Ache pencils - one of my best presents ever was a big tin of them. Was quite shocked to see how much they are recently though when I wanted to buy some as a present. Also great are the Caran d'Ache Neocolour crayons - again they are expensive but brilliant because the colours are really intense and they are water soluble so you can turn a drawing into a painting. Proper artist's materials but kids love them - the stubs that ddhasstolenfromme have ended up in dd's art box are her favourite colouring crayons.
These pencils are really good - Koh-i-noor pencils here I got a small set in the Tate and was so impressed, I went hunting for a bigger set. The colour flow is really good - much nicer than a cheap set and chunky to fit in the hand.
These crayons are good too but expensive (don't let toddlers grind them down) - you can turn them into paintings with a wet brush water gel crayons