Happy National Crayon Day 2022! What child doesn’t love to hold a crayon in their hands? But children didn’t always have such magical boxes of crayons allowing them to draw in colour… I’m delighted to be sharing an inspiring hands-on guest post from Natascha Biebow, author of The Crayon Man, illustrated by Steven Salerno. This gloriously illustrated picture book biography tells the inspiring story of Edwin Binney, the inventor of one of the world’s most beloved toys.
Get Creative on National Crayon Day!
It’s National Crayon Day – whatever your age, whatever your job in life and usual tools of your trade, it’s a great opportunity to have some fun with crayons.
Sometimes our days are so jam-packed we have neglected the importance of taking a moment to do something creative and just play. Here are some ideas to try
1. Make a family or class picture: on a large piece of drawing paper (or you can tape several pieces of A4 together), have everyone add to the drawing together to create a story.
2. Draw nature-inspired art: go outside and collect or photograph flowers, leaves, rocks, feathers and other treasures, then match them to your Crayola crayons. Look at all the wonderful colours in nature! What will you draw?
3. Create melted crayon art: glue some crayons onto a piece of card or canvas, either at the top or in a design. Next use a hairdryer and melt them to create some colourful art.
4. Create rock art: collect some flat stones, rocks or even seashells. Put the rocks in the sun (or the oven) to heat up. Protect your work surface – a towel with a bit of tin foil on top works well. Time to decorate your rocks with your wax crayons! (Be sure not to touch the hot rocks with your fingers – use tongs instead.)
5. Leaf collage art: find an interesting-shaped leaf and glue it onto a sheet of paper. Next, make a picture with crayons, using this as your starting point – it could be a monster mouth, a kite, a fairy shelter, even an under-the-sea submarine.
Did you know?
- Creativity allows us to view and solve problems more innovatively
- Creativity builds self-confidence through the satisfying feeling of having made something
- Creativity fuels curious minds to keep asking questions and looking closely at the world around us
The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons tells the story of Edwin Binney, the Crayola crayons inventor who so loved nature’s vibrant colours that he found a way to bring the outside world to children – in a bright green box for only a nickel.
It’s about looking to nature for inspiration. In these times where many children are disconnected from the outdoors, I hope my book will inspire them to go outside and rediscover nature. Edwin Binney was not afraid to persevere and ask ‘what if?’. Children have a natural sense of wonder, creativity and curiosity, just like Binney. They are, after all, the ones who will be the inventors and artists and who knows what professions of the future. We need them!
Be spontaneous! Enjoy the process of making with crayons – it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes – and play as you create. I’d love to see what you create.
Send your crayon art to Natasha at http://www.nataschabiebow.com
The Crayon Man was published by Clarion Books, 19 March 2019
Natascha Biebow’s favourite crayon color is periwinkle blue because it makes her heart sing. She loves to draw and make stuff, just like the inventor of the Crayola crayons. She lives in London, where she writes, edits, coaches and mentors children’s book authors and illustrators at Blue Elephant Storyshaping, and is the long-time Regional Advisor of SCBWI British Isles. In 2018, she was awarded an MBE for her services to children’s writers and illustrators. The CRAYON MAN: THE TRUE STORY OF THE INVENTION OF CRAYOLA CRAYONS is the winner of the Irma Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature, voted for by children, and a National Science Teaching Association Best STEM book and Junior Library Guild Gold Selection.
You can download the Educator’s Guide to The Crayon Man, which includes other fun activities.
If you’d like a virtual author visit with Natasha for your school, get in touch via her website!