Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Inspiring Early Readers with Crayons

You can inspire your child towards an interest in story telling, languages, and creativity even at a young age and even just with crayons.

 It all started with a memory.

When I was a little girl (about my two oldest girls ages) I would organize my coloring box with like colors next to each other, and I distinctly remember in one season at that time in my life where I was fascinated with the names of the crayon colors and worked at sounding them out and asking my mom about the funny spellings.

My favorite color then was Periwinkle possibly more for it's interesting name than it's color!

Deciding to buy myself a box of crayons one grocery shopping day recently, I took them home, sat down, and gently poured them out and reorganized them the way I liked.

I then colored in the word "Being" in my journal.
 When my girls saw what I'd done they were so impressed that they were inspired to do their own!

As we colored I read to them the names on the crayons and we laughed at some and approved of others.  Names such as ---

"Wild Strawberry"
"Macaroni and Cheese"
"Dandelion" and the like...
 I made word bubbles for the girls to create their own ribbon rainbow words with my crayons with the instructions to be very careful with them.

 Previously, crayons barely lasted a day and I was always sad to see them so quickly broken and ruined.

 My 7 year old was inspired to practice sounding out the names of the crayons as she saw me talk about the names.  The magnifying glass helped her do this!
If you want to inspire your early readers with crayons YOU need to be interested in those names as well!  

Actually, they are pretty fascinating to read.  It's not a box of red, red, red, red and red.. it's Maroon, Wild Strawberry, Wacky Watermelon, Brick Red, Magenta, and so on! 

 These words paint such a vivid picture if you will let them!  What stories could these crayons tell? Ask your child what they think of when they hear a name?  Who would live there?  How would this place feel?

I recently watched a Periscope to inspire Homeschooling parents to do some "Awesome Adulting" - meaning that we can't stop learning and growing and following our interests and passions because we are so caught up in the curriculum and homeschooling and surviving the days.
Doing more of my own art and crafts that I feel like doing is not only great for me it's even great for my kids to watch!  My Mom inspired me as I grew by just doing awesome things!  It made me want to learn those things too.

 I love seeing art videos that are sped up or the time lapse type and thought it would be fun to create my own coloring a page using ONLY crayons.  Did you know crayons could do this?

My new skill this week was learning to make a time lapse video and put it into Youtube so I could edit it all awesome.  This is what I came up with!

The coloring sketch journal featured is this.


It's been several days and the girls have been gentle with my crayons so I (once again) got them a box of crayons for their own.  First time getting all three a large box though!  And first thing they all did was sit down and organize their colors.  The 7 year old was very interested in the lovely sounding names and the 10 year old was quite taken with comparing the English names to the two other languages underneath each name!

What are other ways you could use crayons to inspire reading and creativity? 

 1.    Reading the names to them and talking about what it makes them think of.  If they can't think of an image or idea then come up with your own!  Make sure they know that this isn't a test and there aren't any wrong answers as you brain storm together and scribble.

2.     Compare the colors that look similar and be surprised and delighted when they look totally different on the page than the crayon looked!  You could talk about the names of those two crayons and discuss if you think the name was accurate or not.

 3.    Crayons can also teach responsibility as you teach them to take care of their art supplies.  Crayons layer really well if you don't push too hard so that's a great way to teach them to be gentle with the crayons.  Show them how to color with one and then color over it again to change the color to something slightly different or totally different!

4.     Come up with a short story game to make up together using their favorite animal toy as the main character.  Like, the toy bunny hopped along through the "Wild Strawberries"  .. Her name was "Razzmatazz"... she had "Periwinkle" eyes.  Pull each crayon out randomly and try to make the name of the crayon fit into the story!  You or your child could even write this down if you like to take it a bit farther!

5.     Draw bubble letter words that they are interested in spelling so they can color them in.  How much MORE fun would that be than copying a dry list of words?  Show them the video that I made below for inspiration!

"The highest form of learning is creating.  Creativity is a sign of true intelligence.  Creating something requires us to use our skills, knowledge and ideas.  First we look, next we copy, then we practice, and finally all we create.  This is the pathway to mastery.  
Little children are great creators, until they are told to follow the instructions, and do only as they are told.  Instead of valuing creativity, which is the highest form of learning, we value the memorization of facts - a lower form of learning that can be measured by testing."  Quote by Sarah Janisse Brown in "How to Homeschool"

To say that children can't have this freedom of creativity in how they learn, that we give to ourselves when we are older as we are learning new skills, is not only unkind, but demeaning and could even be considered cruel for some children.

If we want our children to love learning and be lifelong learners we need to think of more ways to inspire them.  

What inspired you as a child?  What memory do you have like my crayon one?  How could you ENJOY that right now and thus (hopefully) inspire those around you to want to join in on the fun!

1 comment:

KaraD said...

Hi! That quote is fantastic Thank you for sharing your blog with me from facebook. I feel a little less crazy for homeschooling and have a family of 5 in apt now :)