Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How to make an adapted crayon

I was working with a preschooler and he noticed this pencil in my (over-flowing) pencil box and wanted to try it out.

This student has cerebral palsy and since his grasp on a regular crayon is one of those grasps best described as "funky" (see below), this Y-shaped pencil worked fairly well for him.
There were a few problems with the pencil: 1) it was too big for his hand and 2) a crayon would be a more appropriate than a pencil for a 4 year old. I couldn't find any crayons for purchase that are similar to the Y-shaped pencil, so I decided to create my own.

I want to preface this how-to with the disclaimer that I don't typically use any sort of adaptations or pencil grips for children this young. I prefer to give preschoolers very short crayons and develop their fine motor skills, rather than provide adaptations. With that said, each child is unique, and that's why I adapted this crayon for this particular child.

I used Crayola Air-Dry Clay to form the base of the crayon.

I then placed half of a crayon in the tip of the clay to create this crayon (the air-dry clay takes 1-2 days to dry).
He loves his new crayon! This is a work in progress, so I'm still trying to figure out an easy way to swap out the crayon, so he can color with more than one color :) Any suggestions?


  1. Perhaps you could put the crayons in cork peg board with large spacing between peg holes. You may need a double thick peg board and non-skid mat to put under it.

  2. How about using a pencil eraser. The one with the flat point on the top. Put it in the clay and let dry around it. Then you can fit a crayon into it or even a pencil if you wanted. Hope this helps. I may have to try this myself.

  3. A pencil eraser is a great idea! I will have to try that. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Abby, great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  5. If the eraser idea didn't work try covering the crayon in cling wrap and then it should just slip out once the clay is dry?


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