Set up a crayon rubbing center for preschoolers

My preschoolers have always enjoyed doing crayon rubbings. We enjoy walking around the house doing rubbings of the texture of the floor and the wood grain on the interior doors, etc. However, while the bigger boys are doing their school work, I really cannot trust Owen (my current preschooler) to walk around the house with paper and crayons!

I’ve been gathering items from around the house that he could use to make rubbings at the table.

Here is what I put in his crayon rubbings tub:

Set up a crayon rubbings center for preschoolers

  • Sandpaper
  • Leaves
  • Coins
  • A heart doily
  • A comb
  • A Duplo base plate
  • A flat Lego brick
  • A piece of wood
  • A lid from a wipes box – the word “Pampers” came out very clearly!

But the favorite item ended up being a last-minute addition – I found some alphabet letter stickers that I had purchased several years ago to make a poster, and I made Owen’s name. He LOVED it! And then the other boys all had to have their name too, of course. I also did a card with numbers on it.

Set up a crayon rubbings center for preschoolers

The letters I used were heavyweight vinyl stickers, purchased from Target at least 10 years ago. They were PERFECT for rubbings, so hopefully Target still sells the same thing! You could do so many things with this – rubbings of sight words, etc.

Owen was really focused on his crayon rubbings, which is always so helpful during school! The only bummer was that Gresham also wanted to do rubbings instead of doing his schoolwork! But that was fine. His schoolwork doesn’t take very long to do, and he had time to do both. The next morning I found all three of the older boys doing more rubbings before breakfast. This activity was definitely a winner!

Set up a crayon rubbings center for preschoolers

The leaves were my favorite. For some reason, it’s so much easier to notice the details on the rubbing!

Set up a crayon rubbings center for preschoolers

More ideas for keeping preschoolers busy:

Scooping and pouring rice

Fun with color mixing and water transfer

Alphabet lift-the-flap craft

Turn junk mail into a collage


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  1. Scribble Doodle and Draw Apr 7, 2013

    My kiddos love to use leaf crayon rubbings. We are going to have to have a search around the house for other objects! Looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing!

  2. JDaniel4's Mom Apr 8, 2013

    I love the idea of the letters on cardboard. What a wonderful center!

  3. Kirstylee Apr 8, 2013

    This is such a fun idea. I love all the materials you included especially that big lego piece. That's something I never would have thought to include, but it is absolutely perfect!

  4. Lolo Apr 8, 2013

    If you can't find good, thick letter stickers -- it takes a little time & effort, but also provides more flexibility -- on cardstock, write out the sight word you want to use for a rubbing, and trace over it thickly with glue. Let dry & enjoy!

  5. sally Sep 16, 2013

    Great ideas!


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