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'The Day the Crayons Quit' story & activities

Enjoy reading the story 'The Day the Crayons Quit'.

Still image for this video
Before reading the story discuss the different emotions your child can name.
During, or after, talk about how each crayon is feeling and name the emotion. It is very important that your child can describe how they are feeling and know it is acceptable to talk about their feelings.

Questions to discuss about feelings when you share the story. 

You may pause the story after each crayon has read their letter or wait until the end.  You may prefer to complete one or more of the activities below to ensure your child has built up their vocabulary to be able to describe the different emotions.  

 

Think about how the crayons feel.  Why do you think they feel the way they do?

What makes you feel different emotions – can you make a list? 

How can we help make ourselves and others feel better?

Can you link the colours to emotions? Which emotion is red? Yellow? Etc. 


Emotion Cards

You could create a series of ‘emotion’ cards or posters, each featuring a single emotion. They could simply be faces with expressions on or you could paint, use collage, etc.

Explain to the children that you are going to explore the emotions that each of the crayons express in their letters. You might use the following emotion words, or choose some alternatives of your own:

Red: Tired

Purple: Frustrated

Beige: Disappointed

Grey: Exhausted

White: Empty

Black: Angry

Green: Pleased

Yellow: Determined

Orange: Bossy

Blue: Worn out

Pink: Neglected

Peach: Embarrassed

 

Act out each emotion

Look at the illustrations of each crayon in the book – what is it about the face and the body of each crayon that puts across the emotion?

Talk about how the drawings are quite simple, and yet we can still tell how each crayon is feeling.

For instance, you might talk about how the beige crayon is bent over, with its arms drooped downwards and a frown on its face. What emotion does this body position and facial expression convey?

 

Think of an emotion or choose an emotion card.  Can you try acting and see if anyone can guess how you are feeling?

 

What emotion do we associate with each colour?

Talk to the children about what their favourite colours are, and why they like these particular colours. Is it because of the colour itself, or the things that are drawn in this colour?

What emotions do we associate with particular colours? How does yellow make us feel, and red, and black? 

You could just choose 1 or 2 emotions to discuss such as:

What colour is love?  

What colour is happy?

What colour is angry?

 

In the story, Duncan normally uses his colours to colour things the ‘right’ colour. Talk with your children about what using the ‘right’ colour means. Do the children always colour their drawings in the ‘correct’ colour? If not, why do they sometimes choose to use a different colour?

Both yellow and orange crayon think they are the colour of the sun – which one do the children think is correct? Do they have any alternative solutions to saying one crayon is ‘right’ and another is ‘wrong’?

Music

Music is magical! It can make you feel lots of different emotions just by listening to it!
Take your time to listen to some different songs/pieces.
✓ Do people at home have favourite songs? Why are they their favourite?
✓ Can you find a song that makes you feel each emotion?
✓ Make a list of your top 5 happy songs.

 

Can you make some happy music using objects you can find in your house?  

Hayley reads: WHAT COLOUR IS LOVE by Linda Strachan

Storytime - Linda Strachan reads What Colour is Love?

Author Linda Strachan reads her picture book, What Colour is Love? with a full cast of cuddly toys.

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