Using Crayons on a Large Scale

This is an activity I saw on Facebook so I thought I’d try it out with the tots. It’s a bit like creating snow angels but with crayons. Tape a large sheet of paper to the floor (I used two sheets of poster paper cut from a roll), sit on the paper then, with a crayon in each hand, repeatedly move your arms in a sweeping motion at your side. Two arcs will appear. If you want to make a circle then shuffle round on the spot and repeat.
So, that was the plan. Read on to find out what actually happened.

Children and Crayons
George and his mum came over to see what was going on. We tried to get George to do the angel thing but he just wanted to try out the crayons in his own way. Mum worked quite hard to get him interested including drawing a road for the cars. Now George is only little – two years old at the most. He ran the car over the road then wandered off.


Next came Katie. She sat down at the edge of the paper and started to make marks. I encouraged her to come right onto the paper where she sat for a good 20 minutes running a rainbow crayon back and forth in a sweeping motion. I hadn’t suggested this to her, she just did it.

An interesting observation by Katie’s mum was how the lines of the floor boards underneath the paper appeared as Katie made her rainbow bigger – an introduction to making rubbings. I also talked to Katie about the different textures of the wax and paper as we ran our hands over it to feel the difference.

Standing, Falling Down and Rolling
Ollie came over and just wanted to play with the crayons. He emptied them all out on to the floor then put them back in their box. I stood them up for him and he thought it was great fun to knock them down again. He then tried to stand them up himself. We then watched as we rolled the crayons across the floor.


Small Circles
May was a little shy today but always loves doing some art. Her mum showed her how to make small circles and she spent at least ten minutes going round the paper making lots and lots of them. She got over her shyness and helped me to gather all the crayons up by the end of the session.

I’ve not been a big fan of crayons, preferring some of the other mark making materials that leave stronger marks. But I’ve changed my mind. The children had to apply quite a lot of pressure to make strong marks or had to go over what they were doing to deepen the colour. An interesting lesson to learn!

Even though the children didn’t do the exact activity planned it was great to see them playing and experimenting with the crayons. So in the end I would judge this to be a successful activity. Remember, don’t hold onto an idea too hard. Use it as a kick-off point and then follow the children in their experimentations and adventures. You never know where it will lead. Plus, they will learn a whole lot more and develop confidence in experimenting – an important part of the creative process.


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