Today was our drawing day. Usually my daughters free draw in their drawing journals on this day, using whatever crayons, markers, crayon rocks, block crayons, or colored pencils they choose. However, today we changed our routine a bit by using these cardboard tubes to hold large amounts of crayons. It made for some fun and pretty pictures, as well as developmentally purposeful work.
The tubes were cut shorter from paper towel roll cardboard. I wanted them to be short enough so that the crayons and tube would stand and not tip over while being filled.
Part of the fun of this drawing activity is choosing the crayons to put into the tube. This too is a good exercise in colors and color variation as well as the pincer grip.
Earlier in the day, before we actually used the cardboard crayon tubes, we made drawing pads for under our drawing papers. I was impressed with the idea of having a drawing pad after reading this tutorial on how to make a drawing pad. I like the idea of using drawing pads for two reasons. The first reason is because it prevents marks from getting onto the table or floor or wherever it is the child is drawing and secondly, because there is a difference between drawing on an extremely hard surface verses a more "giving" surface. I tried it for myself and found that I could tell a difference and in fact much prefer a drawing pad under my drawing/writing paper. I found that it also creates a softer line which is visually more appealing. (Try it using a magazine or newspaper and then a hard table and see if you prefer one over the other.) We made ours with a few layers of newspaper and recycled large/thick easel drawing paper as a cover.
Here is a photo of my youngest daughter using the tube filled with crayons. This activity requires the child to use large arm movements (the bigger the paper the better, paper on a roll on the floor would be fun too) and significant hand strength to grip the large cardboard tube. These movements and muscles are more than what is typically needed in a regular drawing session. The purpose of the activity is not detailed drawing but more an encouragement of movement, lines and curves, and color.
My oldest daughter tried the activity without the cardboard tube also, just as fun, with a few less crayons. After our drawing time, I stored the new drawing pads next to our art cupboard so that they can be used whenever the crayons come out.