by The Teachers.Net Community
by MaryAnn F. Kohl
from First Art: Art Experiences for Toddlers and Two's, by Kohl, published by Gryphon House
Crayon rubbings are a basic art experience for older children, and now toddlers can enjoy them too with this easy approach.
Objects to Rub
- Objects to rub (see list)
- white paper
- masking tape
- oil pastels or chalk
- variety of drawing tools, such as old markers and peeled jumbo crayons or crayon stubs (darker colors, such as purple, blue, and magenta, work best)
- flat items wrapped in paper (such as flat cheese grater, metal grill, window screen scrap, and wire cake cooling rack) heavy paper
- scraps of cardboard
- wrinkled foil
- Place a variety of objects to use for rubbing on a low table. Note: It might be a good idea to secure smaller items to the table with a loop of masking tape. This will help prevent them from slipping and tearing the paper.
- Put a piece of paper on top of the rubbing items and tape it to the table. Wrap flat items, such as a cheese grater, cooling rack, or grill in paper. (See toddler tips for suggestions.)
- Encourage the toddlers to scribble on the paper using oil pastels or other rubbing tools. Ask them to notice how the raised items underneath create patterns on the paper. Hint: Do not be too surprised if toddlers' first experiences with rubbings produce scratches and scribbles. Their rubbings will improve with each experience.
- The toddlers can experiment using different objects under the paper and using different drawing tools.
- To peel crayon stubs easily, soak them overnight in water. Then, slip off the paper from the crayons.
- Toddlers often have a difficult time holding peeled crayons on their sides. "Scribble cookies" (see 'recipe' below), oil pastels, and markers are easier for them to use. Use old markers because this activity wears them out.
- Keep in mind that toddlers' first experiences with rubbings will not have 'adult experience level' results. Be pleased with the toddlers' scribbly-scratches as they are appropriate and necessary for toddlers to progress to more advanced work.
- Tape (or hold) the paper over outside objects, such as a tree, water meter cover, fence, license plate, gravestone, bricks, or driveway. Watch how different textures affect the rubbings.
- Encourage the toddlers to try rubbing cutouts of letters, squiggles of yarn, or geometric shapes cut from cardboard.
- Toddlers can make crayon rubbings at the easel. First, tape a few shapes under the easel paper and then the toddler can rub crayons over them. Most toddlers will scribble rather than make rubbings as adults would.
Save stubs of crayons. Peel the paper from the crayons and break them into small pieces. Sort them by color into an old muffin tin (or mix colors to make rainbow discs). Place the tin into a warm oven that has been turned off. Watch carefully as the crayons melt and soften, floating in liquid wax. Remove them when they are partially melted (but not liquid pools) and let them cool. To easily remove "scribble cookies," freeze them while they are still in the muffin tin, and they will pop right out. Let them thaw briefly before using. Break them in half to give the artists a flat side and a round side for rubbings or coloring.
Observation of Art in Action:
Lily likes peeling the paper from crayon stubs. She has excellent pincher control and can peel tiny bits of paper from a crayon stub. She shakes her fingers to loosen the paper scrap, which floats to the floor next to her chair. But the floor can be easily swept later, and helping peel crayons is hard work with a happy reward--art!
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