Thursday, June 11, 2015

Family Book Club - The Day The Crayons Quit

This sounds so cliche, but I really try to do summer "on purpose".  I like to incorporate educational activities and learning opportunities into our days, and planning them out and having them on hand makes it so much easier to do.


My kids adore the book, "The Day The Crayons Quit" and I thought that a day with activities centered around it would be perfect and engaging.


If you're unfamiliar with the book, it's the story of Duncan and how his crayons quit for various reasons.  The crayons each write a letter to Duncan voicing their complaints and they're hilarious.






The kids didn't know that it was a special day until they woke up and we made our way to the breakfast table...


We had special donuts with sprinkles the same colors as the crayons in the book.  The napkins and cups I picked up at WalMart and the plates we already had.


You had me at donuts!


I put brown paper and crayons out for them to color with and, as expected, Griffin was all over them right away.  She's my little artist.



We read the story as we ate.


And after breakfast the boys watched Mr.Rogers show how crayons are made on YouTube.  They loved Mr.Rogers so much and I was having total 1980s flashbacks :)  They've asked to watch more Mr.Rogers videos since then and have learned about making construction paper and fortune cookies.


After the Mr. Rogers video, I asked the boys to construct their own crayon factory out of Duplos.  Since they had just seen a real factory in action they had lots of great ideas.







In the book, white crayon talks about how he's useless by himself because he doesn't show up on most papers.  We took white crayons and they drew designs on white cardstock with them.  Then we used watercolors to paint the paper.



As they painted, the designs they drew showed up... you can see white crayon!!!





After lunch and errands we got out all of our broken crayons, stripped them down and broke them into pieces.  The boys worked intently on this for about 45 minutes. 


We filled up a mini muffin tin...


.. and I baked them at 250 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Here's where I failed.  I didn't use muffin liners (several tutorials said you didn't have to, but I don't think my pan was non-stick).  They wouldn't come out of the pan and I ended up having to throw my mini muffin pan away.  BOO!


Regardless, the boys still got a kick out of seeing all the melted colors and we learned a valuable lesson for next time :)

The night before, I drew out these crayons on poster board and cut them out (again - prep is key!).

I wrote out a list of colors and let Luke practice his writing by writing the color on each crayon.


After he wrote the names, he drew and colored things that represented each color on the wrappers.  My original plan was for him and Mason to cut pictures out of old magazines, but Mason was napping and Luke really wanted to draw, so we ran with it.


We had a great time talking about each color, referencing the book and figuring out things he could draw for each color.



After nap time it was dinner - and during dinner I asked the boys this series of "Who Am I" questions
 to see how much of the book they remembered.

"I feel so empty, Duncan.  You cannot even see me if I didn't have a black outline.  Who am I?"

"Duncan, I love my workload.  You use me to color dinosaurs and trees and frogs.  Who am I?"

"I am not speaking to yellow crayon.  Can you tell him I am the color of the sum?  Who am I?"

"I am glad I've been your favorite color for such a long time, but there isn't much of me left.  Give me a break.  Who am I?"

"Duncan, I need your help ASAP!  I'm naked and can't leave the crayon box.  Who am I?"

"You use me all year long to color fruits and even holidays.  I need a rest.  Who am I?"

It was fun to see how much they remembered.  Luke has an AMAZING memory and he knew them all - and then he came up with some off the top of his head for me.  And the freaky thing is that they were almost word for word quotes from the book.  He's awesome :)

Earlier in the afternoon I had sorted out some bowls of crayons and after dinner I gave each of the boys their own bowl and a graphing colors page (I've had this saved on my desktop forever and I don't remember where I found it! SORRY!)


They sorted their colors and then shaded in the number of boxes that corresponded with the number of crayons.



I thought I was gong to have to help Mason with this a lot, but he really really liked doing this activity.  I have plans to do another one with sorting and counting Hot Wheels cars or skittles or blocks or something because he loved this so much.


We ended the night by reading the book one more time and talking about our favorite activity from the day.  Luke loved melting the crayons (even though they failed as ending up as crayons to use. hahaha) and Mason loved the graphing and watercolors.

The day was so much fun and it was actually really simple to put together.  If you're not up for a whole day, you could surprise your kids with a lunch or dinner where you read the book and pick one or two of the activities to do together.

I have plans for a few more of these this summer and hope to continue the Family Book Club tradition into the fall. I would LOVE book recommendations!  My kids love all kinds of books, but ones with humor are always their favorites.

Thanks, friends!!!

110 comments:

  1. I love love love this idea! I teach preK and I am absolutely going to use your ideas for my class next year!! You are the BEST!!

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    1. YAY! I'm so glad you found some things that you can use :)

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  2. How super fun! What great memories your kiddos will have of summers spent home with you !

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  3. Awesome job of the provocation of colors and learning! One tip- throw the pan into the freezer, those crayons will pop right out.

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    1. I froze them, let them sit overnight and did everything in between... even with a knife and lots and lots of banging they wouldn't come out :( I'm thinking that maybe my pan wasn' t non-stick?

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  4. This is Smith's very favorite book! We read it ALL THE TIME over here. I should have sent him over to your house this week :). He would have been in Smith heaven! This is such a great idea girl!!

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  5. Um. Next time you have one of these days, Carter would like to come over. I promise, you'll barely even know he's there. AWESOME JOB MAMA!!!!!!

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    1. Love this!! Made me laugh out loud.

      (having issues with google...hope this comment doesn't appear three times)

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  6. I love these ideas! I can't wait to try them with my kids. Thank you!

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    1. You're so welcome! I'm so glad you found some ideas to use :)

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  7. Love this! Fun, creative and educational--I'm definitely "stealing" these ideas. These kind of posts are my favorites. Hope you do more of them.

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  8. You are awesome!! Next time you have Family Book Club-I wanna come!! :)

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  9. These are great ideas. I love this book, found it before Christmas. There is a chance I like it way more than my kids but if I incorporate some of these ideas they might too! Thanks!

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    1. ISn't it the best?!?! And yes - you can totally trick your kids into liking it :)

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  10. This is fantastic! Very creative. I am going to do it with my kids. We already have the book! Thanks!

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    1. YAY! Glad you found some ideas :) Let me know how it goes!

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  11. I absolutely love this, Andrea! I have this book in my classroom and need to pick it up for my daughter. She is 3 almost 4 so these activities are awesome! Thanks so much!

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  12. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!!! How much fun. I was a teacher before I had my kiddos, then decided to stay home. I am always trying to come up with fun activities for my kids (4 and 2). I can't wait to do this one. My 4 year old will LOVE it! I vote for a weekly activity or a blog posts with a few activities. This has been one of my very favorite posts, but then again I love them all!

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    1. I have several posts like this one lined up :) Thanks, girly!

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  13. I absolutely LOVE this post! As a teacher and as a mom! I wish I could get into my classroom so I could get my books so I could do this with my girls tomorrow! :)
    ♥ Jen
    A Splash of Life Blog
    Teacher by the Beach

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  14. I think if you ever decide to take a break from teaching middle school math, you could absolutely be a pre-school teacher. Or mom of the year! Loved all these ideas, I have this book in my Amazon cart to purchase for my grandchildren. BTW Andrea, when do you sleep?:)

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    1. Oh, goodness! I don't think I have the patience or energy to teach PreK :) hahaha And I typically sleep from about 11:00 - 7:00 during the summer :)

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  15. What a fun day! Nice work, mama!!

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  16. Have you ever read Pete the Cat books? Any of them are awesome!!! Such a great idea to have a family book club day! :)

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    1. We've had them from the library - but I don't think we have any at home. I'll have to check them out again!

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  17. One word-awesome! (both you and this idea!!) filing this one away for the future...
    Love your blog!!!

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  18. So creative and fun for your kiddos!!! It's days like this they will remember forever!!
    Have a blessed day!

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  19. I love this! This is a silly question but I'm not crafty at all - did you get a template for the large crayon cut outs?

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    1. I didn't use a template... I used a large ruler, but just kind of "freehanded" them :)

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  20. We were given the crayon book and I Loathe You by David Slonim at the same time and they are two of our favorites. Love this family book club idea!

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    1. Ooooh! Checking out I Loathe You ASAP! Thanks!

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  21. Love your creativity! You should try to create a day out of "My Monster Mama Loves me so" - that was my kids' favorite book!!!

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  22. I love this!!! I'm a 1st grade teacher and this warms my heart! Great job!

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  23. Okay, I need a re-do as a mother, twenty years later! Girl, you are Amazing!
    ( and I want that book ....I LOVED to color as a little girl! )

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    1. Oh, gosh! You're too sweet :) You should order it and stick it away for grandkids :)

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  24. This makes me sad my kids are teenagers! Awesome ideas!

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    1. I don't even want to think about the day when they're too "big" for my activities!

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  25. If I was a mommy, I want to be just like you!

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  26. Great creative ideas! You go momma!

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  27. This is so creative!!! You integrated math, science, engineering, and just all around fun!!! You are a fantastic mommy!!!

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! I tried to keep the activities varied to keep them interested :)

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  28. This makes me sad that my kids are all grown up! LOL I love seeing how you are with your kids and while most people complain about messes. You embrace them! I love that! You are a great mama!

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    1. Thanks, Kim! I definitely complain at times - but they're kids - and kids are messy! :) I try hard not to stress over mess :)

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  29. How wonderful!! What a great way to teach children while still having a fun day! These are memories your kids will have for the rest of their lives. You are truly an inspiration to all moms.

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    1. Thank you, Jana!!! I hope that they remember these days fondly :)

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  30. Such cute ideas!! I'm going to try some of these with my kids. They would love them!! I'm also excited to check out that book. It looks super cute. We love reading at our house. One of their favorite authors is Mo Willems. They love Gerald and piggy, all of the Knuffle bunny and Pigeon books. They are so funny. Mercy Watson is a very early chapter book series that is hilarious that your kids might enjoy. Happy summer!!

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    1. Checking those books out on Amazon ASAP! Thanks, Jenny!!!

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  31. I'm a 23 yr old that has been following your blog since you were pregnant with griffin, omg for 2 years now! And I am just so in awe of what an incredible mother you are. I do not have a great relationship with my mom and often worried about the kind of mom I would be. But you set such a great example for me to follow. The thought, love and care that went into this day and everything else you do for your family just warms my heart. If one day you wouldn't mind writing about your mom/lessons she has taught you/reflections on your childhood, I'd be very interested to read that.

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    1. You are going to be a FABULOUS mom some day!!! My mom is the best and that's a fabulous idea for a post! Thank you!!!

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  32. Looked like a great day at your house! Does Griffin do a lot of things with her left hand?

    Walter the Farting Dog (I would like to see what activities you could plan with this book), The Three Little Javelinas, Chessie: The Sea Monster that ate Annapolis and Dragons Love Tacos are some cute kids books.

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    1. She does almost everything with her left! We looooooove Dragons Love Tacos!!!

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  33. So cute! You're a genius! I used to do things like this with one kid, but three- you're supermom!

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  34. My kids and I love this book. These ideas are amazing! I wilł be doing these soon. Thank you!

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    1. YAY! Glad you found some things you can use!

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  35. Mom of the year award! That's an awesome idea! :)

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  36. I love this! You've given me a great idea for a theme day at camp during our week with the youngest campers! :)

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  37. I love this! We did the make a crayon activity with my Sunday School class when we learned about David and used silicone muffin tins. They popped right out and were cheap to order on Amazon.

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    1. I'll have to try out silicone next time - thanks for the tip!

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  38. All these activities are awesome! I highly recommend Dragons love Tacos- super humerous and then you can eat tacos for dinner ;)

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    1. We have Dragons Love Tacos! Perfect! Great idea :)

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  39. I love this! Thanks for the great ideas! My sons love that book. We've found a lot of great books lately... my boys loved The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak, they thought it was hilarious, Journey and Quest by Aaron Becker, Press Here and Mix It Up by Herve Tullet, This Book Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne.

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  40. Since you guys have a dog, you should do Harry The Dirty Dog. So many cute activities to go with it (paint a white cut out of a dog with the cap to a water bottle, clean their stuffed animals or your actual dog, bubble play to clean plastic toys, etc) and you could talk about the responsibilities of having your dog. You could do If you give a mouse a cookie too.

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  41. Dragons Love Tacos is our new favorite book! We also always enjoy Pout Pout Fish!

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  42. Such a cute idea and fun day! Thanks for showing us that even super creative and talented people have mishaps every once in a while and for taking it in stride! :)

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    1. Oh girl - I have lots of flops! At their birthday party last year I had 20+ kids making slime and it was a total fail. All I could do was laugh!

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  43. Pete the Cat: I love My White Shoes is a favorite for my students. It teaches colors and cause and effect.

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  44. We love that book, and this is a GREAT idea! Would be perfect for a rainy (or super hot) day! Thanks for sharing!

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  45. Love this! You are such an awesome mama :)

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  46. Best mama ever!!!!!!!

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  47. This is one of my kids' favorite books. Thanks for all the creative ideas :) Another one of my kids' favorite books is The Book With No Pictures. They laugh and laugh every time we read it.

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    1. I'll have to check out that book ASAP! Thank you!!! :)

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  48. What great ideas!! The book Stuck by the same author is really good and hilarious! My son loves it!

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  49. This is am AWESOME idea!!! I love it. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me.
    My son loves the Little Blue Truck books. They aren't specifically funny, but if the boys like trucks, they are great books!

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  50. Wow! That looks so fun!! We love the book "Spoon" - it's super cute!

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    1. Great! Added it of my list of books to check out :) Thanks, girl!

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  51. What a fun day! You are such and amazing and creative mum!

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  52. This is my favorite book! I found it in the Kroger check out line out of all places a few years back! We do a week long "study" of it in my class! At the end of the week we pick a supply out of our pencil box and write a persuasive piece on why it can't "quit on us" haha

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  53. Seriously the best activity ever! I absolutely LOVE that book!

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  54. Former elementary school librarian chiming in!
    Not a Box and Not a Stick both by Antoinette Portis
    Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
    Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
    That's Good, That's Bad by Margery Cuyler
    Cha Cha Chimps by Julia Durango
    The Pigeon books by Mo Willems
    Fly Guy series by Tedd Arnold
    Beware of the Frog by William Bee
    Waking Beauty by Leah Wilcox
    Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox (both are hilarious spoof of traditional fairy tales-in this one, Rapunzel has a hearing problem-the prince says throw down your hair, she throws down her underwear.)
    Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
    Tippy Toe Chick Go by George Shannon
    Are you a Horse by Andy Rash
    Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
    Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins
    Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann
    Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh
    Porcupining: A Prickly Love Story by Lisa Wheeler
    The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson
    My Little Sister Ate One Hare by Bill Grossman (Oh your boys will love this! It is about a little sister that eats all kinds of weird things. The refrain is, "We thought she'd throw up then and there . . . but she didn't!")
    Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
    Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney
    I'm sure there are many more but I have to stop myself or I'll be here all day. I also love the website No Time for Flashcards. She posts lots of great books and activities to go along with them!

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  55. I have never commented on your blog, but I love, love, love it!!! I am the opposite of creative but my children will love this and now that I have a step by step on what to do, I can pull it off! Summer can get long so I'm excited! Thanks and keep the ideas coming!

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  56. I'm sure you have answered this in the past so I apologize in advance! Can you share the source for your kiddos personalized plates? Thank you!!

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  57. I don't know how I am just finding these amazing book club posts. I can't wait to do this during summer! I am already planning. Do you think you could email me the graph from this post? Thanks so much!! mremschmitz@gmail.com

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