As much as I tell parents that all you really need are the most basic of art supplies for kids' art, I have to admit that we are big fans of fun and innovative art materials. We have long loved crayon rocks and have more recently started a love affair with shaped crayons.
Besides being great for free drawing, these special crayons often inspire more imagination in my daughters' drawing and art. They even incorporate creative play aspects, lifting the entire art experience beyond the 2-dimensional drawing on paper.
Before I show you what I mean, I want to introduce you to the players: we have a set of fish shaped crayons and a set of bunny shaped crayons from Earth Grown Crayons and lots of crayon rocks from Stubby Pencil Studio. (Both are Artful Parent blog sponsors, but this isn't an official review post or anything that they are expecting, just FYI. I bought the crayons myself and love them as much as my kids do.)
So here's what I wanted to show you…
Daphne has been drawing with the shaped crayons and then bringing them into the artwork more. She does this with the subject matter of what she's drawing. For example, as Daphne (age 3) made the drawing above with the fish crayons, she was saying,
"Mama! This is the ocean! This is the sand. And this is the water. And this is the burella [umbrella]."
Besides making drawings that seem to be inspired by the shaped crayons, she is also physically incorporating the crayons into her artwork, both during and after the drawing process. As you can see, she added the fish to her ocean scene above.
Later, she brought the bunnies into the picture, changing what the drawing was about (completely normal for this age!) and talking about the bunny family and their relationships to each other.
(Unrelated, but woudn't these bunny shaped crayons be awesome in an Easter basket?! I bought them as a Christmas stocking stuffer, but they are perfect for Easter.)
Then, yesterday while we were doing some after school drawing, Daphne drew a nest and then wondered out loud how to draw eggs. I said that they were roundish, like circles (which she likes to draw), but a little squashed, like the rock crayons, and I held one up. She decided to add the rock crayons to the center of her nest rather than drawing the eggs this time.
Later, she dumped the crayons out of the basket, adding a few to her rainbow and mountain drawing…
But then, she flipped the basket over and just began arranged the jewel-like crayons on top…
…and then around the circumference.
Did she think of this as 3-D art as she created it? Probably not. Perhaps she was just finished drawing and ready to move on and the colorful little crayons made fun manipulatives to play with and arrange. But I thought it a lovely and colorful example of 3-dimensional art. As with most ephemeral and 3-D art made in our house, I took a photo to capture it for later.
(Ha! You know I take pictures of everything! Not just the 3-D and ephemeral. I guess what I'm saying is that if I weren't camera crazy, I'd still take pictures of the artworks that I'm not as able to save so that we can remember the artwork and the experience later.)
What do you think? Has your family tried crayon rocks or other shaped crayons? Do your kids seem to draw more creatively with them?