A few years ago, a craft planned to go along with our then history studies serendipitously turned into a nice Advent craft. I wanted to put some crafty/arty activities in our Advent calendar this year because David really loves it when we do any kind of art. I remembered the “colored glass” pictures from a few years ago and thought the time was right to try it again.
The first step is to shave a bunch of old crayons. There may be an easier way to do this but we used a vegetable peeler and it worked fine. The kids were all able to help and quite enjoyed it.
The second step is to draw something. It works best to keep the drawing fairly simple and in black and white or pencil. Next cut around the drawing to make it an interesting shape. You then want to get two pieces of wax paper and cut them to be slightly larger than the drawing (leaving at least about 1/2 inch of wax paper around the edge of the paper). Put your paper drawing on top of one of the sheets of wax paper and sprinkle with crayon shavings. I don’t give a lot of direction but I did point out that they might not want to cover the drawing with the crayons. Otherwise they were on their own.
Next, cover with the second piece of wax paper and gently iron on low heat. You can then trim the wax paper around the edges to make it look neater if you desire.
This is a fairly easy craft (Ruth did the star on top) so works well for young kids. It’s also relatively short for little attention spans. It did need a fair amount of supervision between the cutting and ironing so I broke my own rule and didn’t do one of my own.
One of the things I always enjoy most about doing art projects with my kids is that it brings out their different personalities so well. John did his as instructed and then moved on to doing “experiments” with different amounts of crayons to see what colors he could create and also what differing amounts of heat would do to the shavings. David begged to do more pictures because, “I like all art!” He also decided that the project worked best with a simple shape instead of a drawing and so chose to do a bunch of different shapes after he did his first drawing. (I actually agree with him that it does work best with a simple shape. The drawing kind of ends up getting lost. I think if we do it again I’ll have them either draw with a black marker or try just cutting out a shape or try it with no paper in the middle and just the waxed paper for even more of a stained glass effect. ) Ruth did her one big star and then jumped up on the window seat to dance and sing underneath it.
This is the kind of activity I always think we should do more of but somehow I get too distracted by checklists and other things. I tend to think we should get “the real school” done first and save things like this for the afternoon but then we’re often tired or something comes up or the kids just want to play in the afternoon. I appreciate seasons like Advent that make me loosen up a little and plan for more fun in our days. We started our day with this project and in the end the same amount of “real” work got done as usual.