We've moved. Please click here to view our new blog.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Painting With a Hot Glue Gun (when invitations are a BUST!)

Invitation to "paint" using a hot glue gun and crayons

I would like to preface this post by recommending that you NOT try this.  Unless there is some secret I don't know about that will get it to work - it doesn't. 

From an adult perspective, it’s a real bummer when invitations are a bust.  Sometimes it’s a real bummer for the child, too. If we are mindful, though, and take some time to think about it - there are some really great things that can come from an activity FAIL.

The Process – For this particular activity, my son was a participant in the set up.  He chose the COLORS (recognition) and HOW MANY (counting) crayons he wanted to use.  PEELING (fine motor skills/patience) the paper off of the crayons was another fun step that he enjoyed.  Once the glue gun was hot, he MANIPULATED (fine/gross motor skills) the crayon into the glue gun, which took some pushing!

Problem Solving – We realized quickly that this was going to be tricky.  How do we get the crayon in?  Do we need to wait in between squirts for the crayon to melt?  What happens when the crayons break?  What if we push the crayon instead of relying on the trigger?  How does this glue gun work anyway? 

Our crayons were breaking, the glue gun only worked a few times with the trigger, at one point it squirt across the room onto the wall, etc.  **Sigh**
It seemed to come out easier when we pushed the crayon, but that’s pretty tricky for little toddler hands.  WOW – this stinks.

Teaching Emotional Intelligence - As an adult who has all the tools I need to self-regulate, I’d say I handled it pretty well.  My son was frustrated, though, and curled up in a ball with his head down on the carpet.  He’s really quite good at self-regulating, but for many toddlers – something like this could cause an onslaught of developmentally appropriate emotions (AKA - a tantrum).  We can see this as an annoyance or an opportunity.  What a wonderful opportunity to “teach” emotional intelligence.  An opportunity to validate our children’s emotions, empathize with their feelings, and model compassion as we remain fully present and supportive through those emotions.

So you see - even when we put in all of that effort to set up invitations for our children – and they are a bust – it’s never for “nothing”.   The reality is that everything is an opportunity to teach/learn and connect with our children.



  1. I totally agree that there is always a taching opportunity in everything we do. Even the ones that don't turn out how we expect- life always has little disappointments:( it does look fun though and somewhere i have seen something similar. Glue crayons along the top edge of paper, attach paper to an easel or board so it is verical. Use a hot hairdryer to melt the colours and watch as they run down the paper! Not sure id it works but could be an extension to crayons and heat attempt #2 :). My4boysandme

  2. Too bad that didn't work out. If you are looking for melting crayon art and have an electric griddle you can try this: Cover the griddle surface with foil, put the griddle on low and let it warm up. Color with crayons on the foil then when done, put a pice of paper on top and it will soak up the melted crayon. It is a lot of fun and looks really neat.

  3. I tried this activity with my kids. I had such high hopes. They were really interested in volcanoes and we were going to add "lava" to their sculptures. We were all so excited to start. It just didn't work. I think we tried everything you did. (And we, too, had crayon shoot across the room - still haven't figured out how to get it off the textured wall.) I was really disappointed. As I was cleaning everything up, I told my kids (ages 5, 3 and 20 mos) that I was sorry that it didn't work out like we had hoped. My 5 year old replied, "That's okay, Mom. You tried. We had fun trying." It just reiterated to me that it's not about the specific activity or the specific outcome, it's about showing them how important they are by spending the time with them.
    Thank you for posting how this didn't work. It makes me feel a lot better about it not working for us, either!

  4. I keep trying to post and it doesn't work! I wanted to tell you about something similar to the poster above with the crayons and the electric griddle, except that I use a warming tray. It is lots of fun!

  5. I have hot glued crayons down and then used an embossing gun (a hair dryer works) to melt them which was quite successful. Just a thought :) love all your posts!!

  6. This great instead of using a hot glue gun, my mom would place wax paper over an electric skillet, place a sock on our hands so they won't get burned, and we would draw watching the crayons melt and make awesome art!!! I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to do this!!!

  7. Late to comment, but Batik Tjanting needles are relatively inexpensive (a few bucks) if you buy the non electric ones.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...