The Day the Crayons Quit: Virtual Family Program

Sometimes something special happens and what I share here on Jbrary inspires people to try new things. A few months ago I shared the amazing work of libraries who created displays, scavenger hunts, and contests around the book The Day the Crayons Quit. Awhile later I heard from Sarah Viviani, a youth services librarian in central Florida, who took those ideas and ran with it! Here is how she created a virtual event for families that included a crayon-making activity and science experiments. Firstly, she created her own set of giant crayons. I would pay money for these!

Prep the Grab-and-Go Bags

This program was open to families with children ages 3-7. When families registered for the program they received a bag with the following instructions. Here is the hat template and crayon word search.

Program Outline

Step 1: Tell the Story

If you have the e-book version you can share your screen for clean and crisp images. Alternatively if you’ve made the crayons you can hold up each one and read their letters, like a dramatized version of the story. Here is Sarah’s adorable set.

Step 2: Science Experiments

You can choose any experiments you want! Demo these for the families and talk about the science behind it. Here are some examples:

Watch this video of Sarah testing the rainbow paper towel art.

Step 3: Make Crayons

Using the supplies from the grab-and-go bags, lead participants in making their own crayon. They will need to have a black marker, scissors, and something to poke holes in the paper available at home.

Step 4: Continue to Play

Encourage families to continue to play with their crayons by building dioramas of what they believe their crayon would do during retirement. Sarah made one as an example to promote the program. Families can bring these into the library as part of a display or contest. They won’t finish them during the program – this is more of an at-home extension activity.

And here’s one that a family submitted after the program. Cuteness overload.

A huge thank you to Sarah for sharing this colourful virtual program idea. I think it would work just as well in-person. Have any questions for Sarah? Be sure to leave a comment!

9 thoughts on “The Day the Crayons Quit: Virtual Family Program

  1. Wow , this is another great program idea! Thanks for sharing and inspiring me

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I myself was inspired by others and I am so happy to share that inspiration with others as well <3

  2. SO SO amazing! Great work Sarah, and now I have to go build giant cute crayons for our kids area. Thanks for the ideas!

    1. They are now by my desk and they make me so happy! Lately I have just been creating things that should I hope put a smile on their face .Thank you so much!! <3

  3. Sarah, thank you for taking the time to share your program! I have some huge cardboard tubes that I know exactly what to do with now!

    1. You are soooo welcome! I love sharing, especially when I get amazing ideas from other librarians! I simply made tubes with construction paper but I think using those tubes are a great idea! Tubes are great for so many things.

  4. Amazing!! I can’t wait to try this program at my library!

    1. Hello Cathy! Honestly they are made from construction paper. I used pipe cleaners for arms and eye brows. I drew on the faces and crayon details with black marker. I made cone shapes to create the top of the crayons…..and a lot of hot glue of course. Lastly, I have chop sticks or craft sticks that I used to be able to hold them up like puppets! Feel free to email me if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help!

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