I figured I needed a fun craft to go along with my school supply theme. After reading one of the school supply adapted books that I talked about in some of my previous blogs this month, I had my students make different color crayons out of construction paper. While this is a simple and easy craft I was able to target lots of language goals for my students and also work on those important fine motor skills.
Here is how I set up the craft. I just made a template for a crayon. I made it so I was able to get 3 crayons out of one piece of white construction paper. Then I cut strips of different color paper for the crayons. I do this so the students can either cut or rip the strips of paper to make little pieces to glue on the crayon template
Many of my students are also working on fine motor skills so for this craft I tried to incorporate cutting into it. The students had to request a strip of paper either verbally or non-verbally. Most of my students either used an “I want” phrase or a 2-word combination such as “red paper”. I do have a couple students who I put color pictures on a PECS book and had the students request the color paper they wanted using PECS. For students with CORE boards you can have the students touch “want” or “want it” as you hold up a piece of paper. The students then took the piece of paper and cut it into smaller pieces.
For some of my younger preschool and kindergarten students I had the students use loop scissors to help with cutting. I did have a couple groups that are not ready for cutting yet so I modified the craft and had the students just rip the paper into small pieces. When I working with a small group of students who all don’t know how to cut and I don’t have the OT or a paraprofessional to help each student then I had the group of students rip the paper instead. It still works on those fine motor skills.
After the students cut or rip 3-4 strips of paper we start gluing the paper onto the crayon. During this time I have the students request glue multiple times during the session. After the student puts some glue on the crayon I remove the glue stick and have the student request the glue stick again. For some of my higher groups of students I use only 1-2 glue sticks and I make them work on looking to see which peer has the glue stick and requesting the glue stick from a peer. I don’t let my students get away with getting any materials without working on request!
At the end I wrote the color of the crayon on a small oval piece of white paper and had the student glue it on the crayon. I had my students tell me what color the crayon was before I could write the label.
The other really great thing about this craft was I didn’t need to get any materials. I always have construction paper and glue sticks on hand so it was quick to prepare and make. You can always make some changes if you want to target more receptive language skills during this task. You can give the student directions such as “put on 3 pieces of red paper” or “find the glue” from a visual field of 3 school supply items. Crafts are perfect to work on following directions and requesting.