Monday, January 9, 2017

Making Colorful Crayons - A Great Interdisciplinary Craft

In late December, Melissa Stark, an SLP, contacted me with a request to create an Animated Step-by-Step to support an interdisciplinary activity that uses broken crayons and silicone molds to make crayons in a variety of interesting shapes. This resource is available in 3 versions on the Teachers Pay Teachers website: Regular (no symbols), SymbolStix (n2y), Picture Communication Symbols (Tobii/Dynavox)

Silicone molds are widely used for creating ice cubes and chocolates. Thanks to a great blog post , I was able to create an Animated Step-by-Step that uses animation to guide students through this adult-supervised craft activity.

Occupational Therapists will love this activity as it targets many fine motor skills (peel the paper off the crayons; break the crayons into small pieces; place the broken pieces into the holes of the silicone mold).

Teachers love it as it can be used for working on color/sorting skills, in addition to the literacy emphasis that the accompanying text provides. Speech-Language Pathologists love the emphasis on functional language and the peer-peer interactions it promotes when students are required to work in pairs. 

If the activity is preceded by a crayon hunt throughout the classroom, a Physical Therapist’s agenda might also be added, e.g., "Class there are 100 crayons hidden throughout the room. Let's see if we can find ALL of them." ..." And of course there is the associated math agenda, "Did we get them all? "Let's count and see ... 1 ... 2 ... 3...". "Okay we found 95. How many more do we need to find?"

The filled (mounded) mold is then placed in a preheated oven (250 degrees) and baked for 5-15 minutes, depending upon your oven. Bubbles sometimes form in the melting process, so it is recommended that an adult check the progress periodically and use a toothpick to gently poke the liquid crayons to break any pesky bubbles. When the crayons are completely melted, let them cool for 15 minutes then place them in the freezer for 15 minutes to harden.

"Now it’s time to draw and color with our nifty crayons."
 “I want to color with the purple whale crayon”  
“Can I use your blue porpoise?”   
“Can I borrow your pink heart?
“Trevor, may I use your purple dinosaur?”

So whatever your professional affilitation, enjoy this fun activity and don’t forget to check out the Skip to My Lou website for a multitude of great ideas

…’til the next post …  (new posts every Monday)

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©2017 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator