There's more to crayons than just coloring. Check out these imaginative (and educational) tricks with the sticks.
Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Fine Motor Skills
From simply scribbling to cool crafts, crayons can be used in ways that build your child's creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Try the following ideas together. We guarantee you'll both never look at a box of crayons the same way again.
- Send secret messages. Fold a piece of paper in half. Unfold the paper and use crayons to color the inside of the top half of the paper. Fold the paper closed again and use a Popsicle stick to write an invisible message or secret drawing on the blank page. Unfold the paper and voilà, the secret message is revealed!
- Make soap crayons. Mix together 4 to 6 drops of food coloring, 1 cup of gentle soap powder, and 2 to 3 teaspoons of water. Stir until you have a pasty consistency. Spoon the mixture into an ice cube tray and let it dry for about four days in a sunny spot. Add the soap crayons to your child's next bath so he can paint squiggles and swirls all over his body.
- Design your duds. Invite your child to draw a design on a bumpy piece of sandpaper. Make sure he presses hard. Next, turn the drawn side of the sandpaper face down on a T-shirt, and place a cloth on top of the paper. Run a hot, dry iron over the cloth and sandpaper for a minute or so, then remove the sandpaper to reveal your custom T.
- Create a colorful suncatcher. Use an old food grater or potato peeler to create crayon shavings from old crayons. Fold a large sheet of wax paper in half to create a crease, and then open it again. Sprinkle the crayon shavings on the wax paper and fold it up. Place the wax paper between two sheets of newsprint and press a low-heat, dry iron onto it for a minute or so. The colorful crayons will melt into an interesting design. Once the wax paper cools, cut out shapes and punch holes through their tops. String pieces of yarn through the holes and display the suncatchers in a bright window.
- Make a crayon candle. Use a clean wax milk or juice carton as your form. Melt paraffin in a double boiler and add crayon pieces. Cut a length of string twice as long as the carton and dip one end into the paraffin a few times to make it stiff. Wrap the clean end of the string around the middle of a pencil, allowing the waxed end to hang. Place the pencil across the top of your container so that the waxed end hangs to the bottom of the container. Carefully pour the melted paraffin into the container — making sure your child is safely out of the splash zone. Then allow the wax to dry for a few hours before pulling it out.