Harold and the Purple Crayon

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Recently Noodle went to her very first show– Guns ‘N Roses!  Just kidding, it was a play of Harold and the Purple Crayon.   I was a little worried she’d be scared but of course she surprised me… she had a great time, clapping with the audience and wearing a smile the entire time.

The show is coming back to the area, and we aren’t able to attend this time but I thought I’d put a few activities out there for any locals planning on going to see it.  I also figured they’d be fun to do with children who love this book as much as Noodle does, whether you attend the show or not.  Summer is just around the corner, time to add some activities to your arsenal for those long days once school lets out!

{just a note: some of these are toddler approved and others I did with my students back when I was a school librarian, pick and choose according to age.}

Purple Crayon Drawing
One of the easiest activities out there is to hand your child a purple crayon and have them draw a picture entirely in purple.  If your child enjoys that activity, have them complete monochromatic pictures in other colors as well– an entire picture in red, one in orange, etc.  You can put them all together in a rainbow-hued book!

Shape Walk
Go on a walk and look for shapes outside.  Have your child point out circles, squares, rectangles and other shapes they see as you stroll along!  This is a great precursor activity for ‘Harold’s Shapes’ below.

Harold’s Shapes
Draw (or glue) a purple shape onto white paper.  Have your child use their imagination (and a purple crayon) like Harold to incorporate that shape into a scene.  The original shape can be a standard one (square, rectangle, etc.) for a discussion about the properties of shapes or a freehanded one to make it more challenging.

Tissue Paper Harold

This is a fun activity that uses the familiar shape of Harold and the tactile experience of gluing tissue paper to color him purple.  First I (not so neatly) freehanded a picture of Harold on large paper and hung it on the easel.  Then, using pre-cut purple tissue paper squares, my daughter glued them to his body.  She was a little too young to use the glue stick on her own so I asked where she wanted the square and put a dot of glue there.  It would also work to have an older child use their own gluestick.  This was a great way to engage in conversation with my daughter about Harold and his adventures!  After the show, we gave it to her grandmother as a “thank you” for purchasing the tickets.

Mural Walk
Harold often went walking dragging his crayon along.  Simulate that on a sidewalk outside and have your child draw with chalk as they scoot along… creating fun shapes and swirls and trees, oh my!

Books, Books, Books

Harold and the Purple Crayon 50th Anniversary Edition (Purple Crayon Books) 

Of course, the best pre-activity before seeing the show was to read a lot of Harold books.  There are several titles in this series.  Predicting what will happen next, discussing his journey, and plain old enjoying the stories was a way to get ready for seeing him on the stage.  When my daughter finally got to watch the play it was like seeing a celebrity– Harold himself!

Any ideas to add to this list?  What was the first show your child attended?  Guns ‘N Roses? {hey, if it is, I won’t judge!}
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6 Comments

  1. Sounds like a fun play to have gone too! I loved Harold when I was growing up. Thanks for the activity ideas! Although my Harold wouldn’t look nearly as handsome as yours.

    Ginger
    Literally Inspired

  2. Stopping by from SITS. Great ideas!

    The first show my 8-year-old went to was a They Might Be Giants concert at nine months. I think it was The Wiggles for my 5-year-old.

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