Crayons & paper: 18 fun old-fashioned projects for kids

Crayons & paper 18 fun old-fashioned projects for kids

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This creative collection of ideas came from Crayola, the famous crayon maker, back in the 1950s. They suggest some simple old-fashioned ways for kids to have quiet fun at home with crayons and paper.

Crayola Corner: “Growing” fun with crayons & paper (1959)

Crayola “family tree.” On shelf paper or a long strip of wrapping paper, draw a six-foot “tree-trunk” with crayons. Use a yardstick to measure off inches. Fasten to the back of the door or other convenient spot and use to measure children’s height.

Each measurement becomes a “branch” that children can color along with name and date and other suitable decorations. For a permanent record, draw on a strip of an old sheet and “set” with a warm iron.

Starting flowers. Seeds or bulbs can be started in tin cans filled with earth. Measure and cut strips of paper to go around can. Allow for a slight overlap. To decorate, children draw and color flowers that will grow from the seed, and paste or tape paper around the can.

Garden markers. Using ice cream sticks, tongue depressors or wooden spoons, children can make gaily colored markers for seeds planted in spring. Write the name of vegetable or flowern and draw a picture of it. Bright colors of Crayola Crayons are waterproof… won’t wash off in rain.

Crayola Corner 1959 Growing Fun

Crayola Corner: Constructive ideas to keep children happily occupied

Play store. Here’s a good way to help youngsters learn how to read, write and do arithmetic, and to work and play together, too.

Use crayons and cardboard to make play money, play produce, meat and packaged products. Then some children become shoppers, others clerks, and the game begins.

Trip pictures. Taking children on trips to the post office, dairy farms, banks and stores is an effective way to make them aware of the people and things around them.

A good way to help them learn from these experiences is to have them draw what they’ve seen. Crayons are perfect for such picture-making.

ALSO SEE: Popular vintage board games from the ’50s

Quick change display. Encourage your children by displaying the pictures they make. Frame them with two sheets of construction paper: one for the backing, and the other cut out to form a frame.

Paste together, leaving one side open so you can slide pictures in and out.

Binney & Smith Inc. New York, NY

Crayola Corner fun ideas 1959

The Crayola Corner (1957)

The cold weather, the indoor play season is upon us. Having lots of crayons around the house can make wintertime easier on the parent and more fun for the child. Here are some ways to…

Amuse the “stay-abed.” Winter colds and other childhood illnesses may mean days home from school. Crayola Crayons are a wonderful morale builder on such occasions. They’re one of the best toys for a child confined to bed and they give mother a chance to finish her housework. too.

Make homework fun. No question about it — geography becomes a more colorful subject when there are crayons to learn with. (Crayola Crayons in the #48 box for the 48 states, for instance.) So does arithmetic when little Billy makes his own adding and subtracting cards.

ALSO SEE: Christmas craft: Tissue paper stained glass art that blazes with jewel-toned light (1961)

1957 Crayola Corner Binney Smith

Quiet fun for kids with paper bags and crayons

Paper bag puppets: Start with small paper bags folded flat so that the squared bottom of the bag overlaps side. Color puppet face and figure on bottom and side of bag, using the overlap as the puppet’s mouth.

To make puppets speak, children put their fingers into the bottom fold and open and close hand. Arms, ears and other features can be added to make the puppets more interesting.

MORE: Get free coloring pages for kids from our sister site,!

Indian headdress: Cut off bottom end of a paper bag. Flatten and fold bag into pleats about two inches wide. While still folded, cut pleats to resemble feathers, leaving about two inches at end of bag for head band. Unfold and let children decorate with crayons.

Colorful costumes: Large paper bags from cleaners or grocery stores can make beautiful costumes. Cut holes for arms and head. Children will enjoy coloring costumes of foreign lands, spacemen, animals and other things.

Quiet fun for kids with paper bags and crayons 1958

Crayola Corner: Crafts for kids made with crayons

Shirt board shields. Grey shirt cardboards look like steel — make perfect “knight’s armor.” Sword, shield, and visor are quickly cut to shape and colored with crayons. They’re completely safe for children to play with.

Shadow box pictures. Stocking and other two-piece boxes make fine frames for children’s art. Paste drawing face up inside box cover. Cut a “window” in the bottom of the box and nest it inside cover to frame picture. Frame lifts out to let you paste new pictures over old.

Cleaning bag countryside. Save paper cleaning bags for rainy afternoons. Spread them on the floor and let children crayon in roads, streets, houses, railroad tracks. Makes a perfect landscape for toy cars and trains.


Make costumes & have Halloween fun with crayons (1957 & 1958)

Crayola windows. Draw pumpkins, witches, goblins on paper. On the reverse side, rub or wipe the surface with any available household oil — salad oil, linseed oil, baby oil. Tape sheet with design to inside of window pane. Put lights behind it and it will glow like a stained glass window.

MORE: Meet ‘n Treat Halloween party: A kid-friendly retro ’70s alternative to trick-or-treating

Crayola scare faces: Have children color a face on a paper bag, then stuff with newspaper and fasten to stick with string or tape. Paste strings to the head for witch’s hair, or add decorated paper cups for hats.

Crayola ghosts. Use white Crayola wax crayon to draw ghostly figure on white paper. Then brush paper with diluted tempera paint, ink, or water color. Ghosts appear as if by magic because paint won’t stick to heavily-crayoned areas. As a variation, try this with colored crayons and contrasting paint.

Crayola Corner 1959 Halloween fun

SEE MORE: Kids bored? 16 old-fashioned ways to have fun like they did in the ’60s

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