Crafts that keep a boys attention need to be a special mix of activity, magic and a little bit of daring thrown in.
This week we are working on the letter “C”. Far from his first introduction to the letters, we are reinforcing the lessons from last year in our home lessons this year.
Day 1: First I told my 3-year old that we’d be working on the letter “C” and then simply started talking with him about words that start with the letter “C”. We went to the store and for a walk and I had him point out and trace with his fingers all the “C’s” that he could find on the signage along the way.
There are 2 letter “C’s” in this sign.
He saw the pride and enthusiasm in the eyes and voices of not only me, but the others we met along the way and shared how we were discussing the letter “C” today. He was able to get a treat from the store, but it had to start with the letter “C”, he choose a cookie.
Incorporating letter learning in everyday activities like this help him to recognize that there are letters and words all around him in the world and that spoken words are made up of these letters.
Day 2: First I asked my preschooler if he remember what letter we were working on this week. He did! We choose from games to play by listing the ones that start with the letter “C” such as Cootie, Cars, or Cards.
We did some Cutting crafts and then went down to the beach. We played separately in the sand and when he inevitably came over to see what I was doing, he could see that I was drawing “C’s” in the sand. He mimicked me and drew a set of his own “C’s” as well. Castles are a great “C” thing to build in the sand also, although I built a sand Cat for him to stomp in.
Day 3: Too tired for traditional coloring and crafts by the end of a busy day, my child adamantly refused to do anything and threw his craft supplies down on the floor in frustration when I proposed doing one.
Undeterred, I mentioned that we’d be cutting, grating and using a knife and an iron, and his mood flipped a 360 and he was all in. So I’m calling this craft the craft to do when the kiddos don’t really feel like doing any crafts.
Crayon Curls “C” Craft
broken crayon pieces
plastic bag (white or clear without too much printed writing)
knife, grater, pencil sharpener etc.
Success Hint: Take it easy on the obvious teaching techniques when the kiddos are tired. It wears them out and makes them shut down and shut out learning. Get into the fun stuff and only loosely mention the lesson you are trying to get across.
Step 1: Preparation: Peel all the paper from the crayon pieces. This is a great project for all those random pieces that get broken. Lay down a piece of wax paper bigger then the letter “C” you want to make on a surface that can be ironed on.
Step 2: Cut open the plastic bag so it lays flat and lay half down onto the wax paper. (Plastic can be tricky to cut, so parents, you’ll probably have to do this part.)
Step3: Have your child write the letter “C” on the plastic bag with the marker. Parents may have to hold the bag tight so the kids have a flat surface to write on.
Step 4: Get the kids busy grating and cutting the crayons to make curls and crumbs. Make sure all the pieces fall down onto the plastic “C” you just made. Close supervision is necessary for the littlest kids or if they haven’t had a lot of practice with sharp items.
Step 5: Fold over the top half of the plastic, trapping the crayon crumbs inside. Cover with another piece of wax paper.
Step 6: With the iron on medium-high heat, place the iron on top of the wax paper sandwich, watching for wrinkles below. These wrinkles indicate that the plastic is melting together below. CAUTION: If the iron is too hot, it will melt the plastic onto the wax paper, if the iron is too cold, the plastic halves won’t melt together at all. If you’re not sure about the temperature, start out low and check under the wax paper to see if the plastic is sticking together, turning the temperature up slowly if necessary.
Step 7: Cut out the letter “C” shape. Done!
Have your child get small crayon crumbs from a variety of different techiques: putting the crayons in a pencil sharpener, skimming them with a butter knife, grating with a cheese grater, cutting with scissors.