CRAYONS? I know I was going to tell you about interesting products and brands that you never heard of before and here I am on just the second day talking about Crayola. Everyone knows about crayons. Everyone knows how important it is for children to color and have much they like to color.
However, Crayola and the other art supply manufacturers have some new products. The exciting part of these products is they are universally designed toys.
I talked about in my Toy Criteria that I don't think you need to go out expensive "Special Needs" toys. These new products are a perfect example.
According to the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State, the intent of universal design is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. Universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities. You can learn much more about the principals of universal design at http://www.design.ncsu.edu/cud/about_ud/udprinciplestext.htm. The idea is whatever is designed can be used by ALL people. A parent who is raising a child with a disability doesn't need to go searching for special toys, they can go to any store and buy art supplies that their child.
So you ask how are these crayons any different and how do they help children with disabilities. They have made it easier to color! The new crayons are different shapes--triangle, flat on one side, and bigger. All of these new shapes makes it easier to grip the crayon whether you have poor fine motor skills or are 2 years old and learning to color for the first time. The crayons also don't roll away, they stay right where you put them down! You also don't need to push as hard on the paper to successfully color.
One of the principals of Universal Designs is Tolerance for Error. The goal is to minimize hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions. In other words, when it comes to painting and coloring--there is a tolerance for missing the paper and getting paint all over the walls, hands, and clothes.
So there are new products that allow for tolerance--and the tolerance isn't in just a mother's patience. Color Wonder is a mess- free creative system of inks and paints, developed by Crayola scientists. Color Wonder inks and paints are clear, and colors appear only on the special Color Wonder paper. It means if you have poor fine motor control and you use these crayons and miss the paper, it won't make a mess.
There are also a new product that gives a greater contrast in colors. This makes it easier for children who have visual issues. Crayola Color Surge lets you create super bright colors on colored paper!
I think all of these products are fun, different, and easy to use. You can easily put together a bucket of new art supplies that your child will have a ball with.
Stay tuned for tomorrow. To easily identify these art supplies come to http://www.letkidsplay.com/store.html.