Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Crayon Hack

Christopher does NOT like to color.  He's never enjoyed it.  Just before his second birthday a mom I know was overheard saying, in a shocked whisper, "Did you know that Amy doesn't color with Christopher?!!"
At two years old Christopher was still eating crayons.  By three he had learned how to crack them in half and now that he's four he's perfected the fine art of peeling off all of the paper before he cracks them in half and eats them.
At this point he is capable of coloring, but most of his masterpieces are be more likely to prompt a call home from the school psychologist than the art teacher.
Of this lovely picture he said, "I'm finished." 
"You did a great job of coloring Big Bird's nose and thermos!"  That's me, always looking on the bright side.
"They're on fire."

He loves maze books and connect-the-dots.  Pretty much anything he can do with a regular pencil.
Hannah on the other hand LOVES her colors.  She colors all day long.  She can actually sit still, at the table, and color in her Hello Kitty book all afternoon.
The main problem, of course, is protecting Hannah's crayons from her loving big brother - who would like nothing less than to crack and eat each and every one.  The second problem is that she's two, so she has a hard time keeping the crayons on the table, within arms reach of her coloring book.  Crayons falling on the floor is nothing short of a tragedy in her world.
The first thing I did to solve our problem was to buy triangle shaped cryaons.  Turns out they're just as easy to peel, crack and eat as regular crayons.  Interestingly enough, twistable crayons have ended up being the way to go for Hannah.  She loves them, doesn't twist them up herself and I've been able to teach Christopher (for the most part) to leave them alone.
Still, we have the roll-on-the-floor problem.  Yesterday I used up the last of the eggs.  Turned over the egg carton.  Cut an X on the bottom of each egg holder and put one crayon in each hole.  PERFECT!!  She loves it.  I made one for Christopher and he enjoyed taking the crayons in and out and organizing them by color.
Oh, and Christopher just pointed out that he can store the crayons inside the egg carton.  Way to go Christopher for an additional hack!

See this link on Parent Hacks!


  1. What a great idea!

    Luke doesn't really like to color either. When I sit him down to color it's mostly, "Mommy, draw me a car," pr "I want to draw a car. Mommy will you do it?" I'll get him to do a little if we "take turns".

    I'm learning to draw things like cars and truckz though!

  2. Amy, your "problem solving" posts really show what a good Mom you are, because you care enough to try/try/try again with your kids :)

  3. What a cute idea!! My son is 4 and hates coloring as well. I'll be using up the last of the eggs today so I'll have to give this a try. And maybe find some twist up crayons for my daughter's stocking!

  4. What a great idea! My boy isn't old enough to color just yet, but I can't wait until he is! I will definitely try these hacks.

  5. Christopher actually has a common problem regarding coloring - he's a boy. My male students never wanted to color their worksheets! Good hack for the crayons!

  6. Two things:

    Elias isn't real big on coloring. It wasn't until he started Kindergarten this year that he made any attempt at coloring beyond scribble. Now he uses different colors and tries to stay in the lines. So...Christopher will get there.

    On an unrelated note...I noticed that the "Wonderful World of Blog" link has gone missing from your Blogroll!?!? What gives! Is WWoB not loved anymore??!

  7. Seriously, I can't tell you how much it encourages me to know that other boys aren't into coloring. It's amazing how bad one parent can make me feel about my kid and my parenting!

    Ed, I don't know what happened to your link but it's fixed. Sorry!! I'm a WWOB fan from WAY back!!

  8. I don't think it's just a boy thing-Ella doesn't like to color either. She prefers messier mediums like watercolors and markers and fingerpaint. I'm very impressed with the egg carton idea though-the novelty of it may get her interested in crayons...I'll try it :-)

  9. Two things: One, "They're on fire" made me laugh so hard I choked on popcorn. Oh man.

    And that last picture is GREAT! :) I like you having the DSLR :)

    Oh, and yes, the hack is awesome too. I want to get Bean some of those twist things. She likes coloring alright, but generally likes directing me more. (Like Christy said)

  10. OK, this is all I have found so far, but I will keep searching!

  11. you are awesome. That's a great idea.

    Plus? Extra CrAsian points for you for the HK coloring book! :)

    And the fire comment, also made me cackle!!

  12. This is a great hack. And ...

    TAG! You're it!

    I was tagged to participate in the picture game. You might as well, too. :) To see more details, check out
    this post

    Glad we're friends!
    Beth :)

  13. Just saw this on Parent Hacks. I'm going to do this when I next empty an egg carton. I've had some concerns about the environmental impact of twistable crayons but we have now had the same two sets for over a year. The two year old can't break them when he is being naughty and the four year old can't break them when she is trying too hard.

    My four year old dd was much slower to warm up to coloring but my two year old ds already loves it. It is amazing to see the differences.

    Great idea and Merry Christmas.


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