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Guess the object: crayon rubbings with everyday items

by Jean Van't Hul
May 3, 2011

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I often like to have a simple artful activity set up for when Maia gets home from kindergarten. Sometimes I just set out paper and markers at the kitchen table, other times it's something more elaborate such as shaving cream marbling. Either way, I find that the materials or activity can help us transition from school to home time. (And it just provides me with some fun art time with Maia now that she's in school much of the day.)

This crayon rubbing project is a simple one that we've done before in different variations (my favorite is with leaves!), but that I like to return to sometimes.

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To set up, I collected a bunch of somewhat flat everyday objects that I thought would make interesting rubbings: hand mirror, trivet, ginger grater, magnets, mesh bag, mardi gras beads, coins, bracelet, etc. I spread these out on the kitchen table. Sometimes I tape these in place, but didn't this time and kinda wish I did since many of them shifted.

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Then I spread a large sheet of paper (from the easel) over the items, taping the paper down at the edges. I put out a few chunky crayons with the paper removed to complete the set up.

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When we got home, Maia gravitated toward the blank paper immediately. I told her I had set it up for crayon rubbings and asked if she could figure out what was hidden under the paper based on the images she revealed through her rubbings.

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She tried! She guessed a few of them right away and others with hints. And she peaked under the paper a couple times when she was flummuxed.

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