Go on a journey with crayon crafts for blind children
February 12, 2019

Where will you go? What will you do? What will you find? One crayon, endless possibilities.

A copy of Journey with a packet of crayons and a USB

Inspired by the newest addition to our Touch to See library, Journey by author-illustrator Aaron Becker, published Walker Books, we’ve put together some fun crayon activities for you to do at home. We encourage you to explore, create and imagine like never before, using the free crayons (kindly donated by Bic Group and Keeko Kids Ltd) with your Touch to See copy of Journey. 

Bridget, a library member, said, “I thought [Journey] was brilliant. A really great book and the pictures were wonderful. I especially liked the first tactile image of the girl drawing the door and entering another world beyond. I very much enjoyed it.”

Three small tactile images of a girl drawing a doorway and then running through it

Young visually impaired members of our library have tested and approved some of these activities.

Drawing your own world

Use your crayon, like the story’s protagonist, to draw your own doorway and the magical world beyond. Perhaps you’ll soar high in the sky, dive deep into the sea or even reach for the stars.

Three children sat at a table drawing with crayons

Jacob (who is severely sight impaired) and his brothers felt inspired to create their own magical worlds after reading Journey

“There are no words in this book, the artwork is so intricate and delicate, in it’s print form it’s not accessible to visually impaired children. However, with a mix of audio description and tactile pictures the beautiful book is brought to life! Jacob and his brothers really enjoyed listening and following this book. We then had lots of fun creating our own crayon worlds!” – Jacob’s Mum

A crayon drawing of a boat going along a river with trees and a machine in the sky, next to a book that depicts a similar scene

“My interpretation of the scenes in the book, the boat, trees and the machine.” – Jacob. From our engaging audio description, read by Pearl Mackie (Doctor Who actress), and evocative tactile images, Jacob was able to recreate elements of the story.

Bridget, one of our VI members and editors, suggests that this drawing activity would be particularly suitable for children who are partially sighted as, “…they may be in general more comfortable expressing themselves through drawing as medium and find it more natural and fun.” To make this activity tactile for blind children you could use Wikki Stix, foam paints and collage elements such as fabrics and different textured paper to craft your magical world.

Wax Rubbing Journey

This crafting idea was contributed by one an 11 year old library members who has Nystagmus and severely reduced vision. Explore the great outdoors with just your sense of touch on a wax rubbing adventure, by taking your crayons out and about with you. Then when you find something with an interesting texture, lay a piece of paper over it and gently rub your crayon across the surface.

Close up of crayon rubbings of different textures

One of our library members went on a wax rubbing journey and found loads of amazing textures, including tree bark, flooring and patterned tiles.

A paper crown with crayon rubbings on

These rubbings can then be made into crowns like our library member has made. Or you could make flags or bunting.

To make a wax rubbing crown you’ll need: crayons, paper, scissors and tape, glue or sticky dots.

Warning! Parental supervision will be needed as this activity involves sharp scissors.

Here’s what you do:
Create wax rubbings of various interesting textures.
Measure your head and cut a wide strip of paper a little longer. Tape this so it fits securely around your head to create a headband.
Cut your wax rubbings into shapes – our library member has used feathers but you could cut them into stars, triangles, diamonds, shells… you decide!
Glue, or use use sticky dots to fix these shapes onto the headband.

Make the headband even more tactile with feathers, pom-poms and sequins.

Ta-dah! You can now rule over your court with your new crayon crafted crown!

Colour changing crayon stars with TheDadLab

Refresh and recycle your old crayons with this great how-to crayon craft video from TheDadLab (thank you for letting us share this video). You could add glitter to your crayons to make them sparkly, or try using moulds of the shapes drawn in Journey, such as the boat, hot air balloon or kite. As this activity is sensory and has tactile aspects it means that all children can be included in the fun and make a memento of the story to keep.

Warning! Parental supervision will be needed as this activity involves a hot oven.

You’ll need: some crayons and a funky shaped silicone baking mould.

Here’s what to do:
Simply snap your old crayons into small pieces.
Put different coloured pieces into a silicone baking mould tray – DadLab used a star one.
Bake in the oven at 135º for 15 minutes. Remove with oven gloves.
Cool completely.

Then tip your new crayons out the mould. Ta-dah! You have lovely new crayons in tactile shapes!

A tactile picture of a girl in a boat

 

It would be great to know how you find these crafting activities, or if your journey takes you in a direction not mapped here, so please send in any hints and tips you find along the way!

Share your journey with us by posting on our Facebook page, or tagging us @LivingPaintings on Twitter or Instagram!

Yet to experience Journey? Get it here!


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