Drawing Kids Arts and Crafts Activities

Guess the object: crayon rubbings with everyday items


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


  • Reply
    MaryAnn F. Kohl, art author
    May 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    We used to have “surprise table” rubbings off and on for holidays and birthdays. Birthday parties were especially fun for the kids to find “whatever” at their place at the table. I would do their names, or a picture of their “prize”, etc. And I’d give little “Scribble Cookies” as take-home prizes to go along with the coloring table. Etc etc!!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    May 4, 2011 at 7:58 am

    fun idea! We did rubbings this week too, but my son had a hard time moving the crayon in the way it should to actually see it and he also had a hard time holding the paper still. Maybe your method would be better than he wouldn’t have to hold the paper himself. Thanks for the inspiration. https://www.art4littlehands.com/2011/04/texture-collage.html

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    May 4, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Ooh, I like the idea of a “surprise table”!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    May 4, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I would definitely suggest taping the paper down to hold it in place. It helps a lot. I like how your son made a collage with the rubbings!

  • Reply
    Kayla @ MPM School Supplies Blog
    May 5, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Hi Jean! We just loved this activity and featured it on our blog >> https://blog.mpmschoolsupplies.com/2682/mystery-crayon-rubbings-can-you-guess-the-object/. We were sure to give photo source credit and a link back to your site, but we’d love for you to take a look at our feature and, if there are any problems, we’ll certainly take it down immediately!
    Thanks so much!
    Kayla Johnson
    [email protected]

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