Tag Archives: crayons

Secret Messages

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Crayons, wax and oil pastels are great at repelling water coulour paint. This property makes them a good choice for writing secret messages. White is the best colour to use on white paper as it is hard to see the writing before adding the paint! Unfortunately A chose to use a white oil pastel and our paper was more of a beige colour (blank newspaper print), so the messages weren’t quite as secret as they might have been 🙂

My message for L and A.

My message for L and A.

A wrote out all of the sight words that she is currently working on in white oil pastel. L drew a picture and wrote messages. Then the kids used their water colour paints to bring the messages to life.

Writing her sight words.

Writing her sight words.

Painting on the water colours.

Painting on the water colours.

We had fun writing messages to eachother, which were then ‘discovered’ by adding paint. This is also a great activity for practicing spelling words as well as sight words.

A word 'discovered'.

A word ‘discovered’.

Words appearing through the paint.

Words appearing through the paint.

 

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

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IMG_1698The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, paperback picture book, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in 2013.

Duncan’s crayons are not happy. Each of them have written him a letter explaining their grievances, and asking him to change the way he uses them. Until then, the crayons are on strike.

A wonderful book for preschool and primary school aged children, The Day the Crayons Quit, is both funny and reflective of the usage of crayons in a child’s pencil case. Each of the crayon’s letters are written with that crayon in a child-like handwriting, which suits the story perfectly. And the letters are just so funny. The crayon illustrations are brilliant, I think I’ve seen a few ‘white cat in the snow’ pictures done by my own children! I particularly love the purple dragon and wizard.

Both my preschooler and second grader love this book. It appeals to their sense of art and colour, as well as making them laugh. I like to share this story with my kids, because I love it too 🙂 I also think my kids would secretly like their own crayons to send them some letters as well!

Melting Crayons

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The other evening I went through all of our drawing implements and sorted them out. We have them stored in a five drawer storage unit, a drawer for pencils, one for markers, one for crayons, one with stickers, and one with lead pencils, pens, erasers, and pencil sharpeners. I threw out any markers and pens that didn’t work. I sharpened all of the lead and coloured pencils, throwing away ones that kept breaking. I waded through the stickers, throwing out sticker sheets that actually had no stickers left on them, and rescuing some sticker sheets that had fallen down the back of the other drawers. Then I got to the crayon drawer…. there were dozens of crayons jammed in this drawer, so many that it was very difficult to shut the drawer. I took them all out and sorted the broken from the unbroken. I collected all of the broken pieces together and put them into a pencil case to deal with later. IMG_4897

Later came around when I decided to try and melt some of the crayons together to make a bigger usable crayon. I wasn’t sure what would happen, so I put a random selection of crayon pieces into a muffin case, and microwaved it. My microwave wasn’t particularly happy about this, and turned itself off near the end. Since I previously blew up a microwave by accidentally microwaving a pop-stick, and I didn’t want a repeat of that, I immediately removed the crayons. Luckily the microwave is just fine, it was just protesting, and given the smell the crayons gave off, I can’t blame it. However, the crayons did melt, and mixed all together, ending up brown. That was fine though, as at least I knew they could be melted.

I thought my other option would be to heat them in the oven, but with the hot weather I wasn’t keen to put the oven on. I had a bit of a Eureka moment then, when I realised that I could use the hot weather to my advantage. Nature could melt the crayons for me! So after I removed all of the paper coverings (sliced down the side with a small blade and peeled the paper off), I sorted all the crayon pieces out into piles of different colours, placing them into muffin cases in the muffin trays. I sat the muffin trays outside in the sun this morning.

Separated into like colours.

Separated into like colours.

After about an hour and a half I went out to see how the crayons were going in the sun. They were melting quite well, and the trays were very hot. After about three hours the crayon pieces were pretty much all melted, and I gave them a bit of a stir to mix it together. There were a few pieces in some of them that didn’t melt, but I think they were all pieces that came out of the Crayola Twistables Crayons. I guess this sort of crayon isn’t the same as the others.

After about an hour and a half in the sun.

After about an hour and a half in the sun.

After about three hours in the sun.

After about three hours in the sun.

I brought the muffin trays into the shade using my oven mitt, and once they were a little cooler, I removed the muffin cases full of melted crayon and brought them inside. I sat them on the bench to cool and harden. Once they were completely cooled, I removed them from the muffin cases. Now I have some nice chunky crayons that Baby T can use for his first drawing attempts, instead of the mostly unused broken pieces I had before.

My new chunky crayons.

My new chunky crayons.

Next time I have a bunch of broken crayons, I think I will melt them and then pour them into some of our metal cookie cutter shapes to cool. We have some dinosaur shapes that would make great crayon shapes.

Leaf Rubbings

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IMG_3545A, Baby T and I were out walking yesterday and A began to collect some leaves. She mostly picked up gum leaves, but she also picked up some maple leaves, silky oak leaves and some other small leaves from a few bushes. It was a motley collection, but perfect for trying some leaf rubbings.

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We sorted through the crayon tub to find some suitable crayons, and A delighted in pulling off the remaining paper covering these crayons (and then just throwing it on the floor like confetti!). We picked fat crayons so they were easier for A to hold. She placed the leaves on the table and covered them with white paper. I held the paper still while she wielded the crayon on its side, rubbing it over where the leaves were lying. She was amazed to see the shapes of the leaves emerging beneath the crayon. She kept calling them ‘leaf fossils’, I think because we did a rubbing of a dinosaur fossil on a recent trip to the museum.

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