The Day the Crayons Quit

Author: Drew Daywalt

Duncan loves to colour, but when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have quit! Purple Crayon is annoyed with Duncan for colouring outside the lines, Pink Crayon wants to be used to draw dinosaurs and monsters and White Crayon feels invisible. What can Duncan do to make his crayons feel better and get them back to doing what they do best?

Here are my top The Day The Crayons Quit activities you can do with your child to help support his/her speech & language development:

1. This book is the perfect opportunity to support your child’s knowledge of colours. As you come across each coloured crayon in the story go on a treasure hunt with your child around your home to find objects that match this colour. Label each object and colour as you find something new e.g. “Look we found a red jumper”, “The bottle is blue”. This will develop your child’s vocabulary of colours and everyday objects.

2.  The Crayons all express their feelings in this story, which provides you with an opportunity to develop your child’s emotional vocabulary.

  • Red: Tired
  • Purple: Frustrated
  • Beige: Disappointed
  • Grey: Exhausted
  • White: Empty/ Invisible
  • Black: Angry
  • Green: Pleased
  • Yellow: Determined
  • Orange: Bossy
  • Blue: Worn out
  • Pink: Neglected
  • Peach: Embarrassed

As you come across each emotion in the story have a go at looking in the mirror with your child and trying to match the facial expression and body language of each Crayon.

You can then discuss with your child why the Crayon might be feeling this emotion. Try to provide your child with some examples of times that you felt this emotion and ask them if they can also come up with any examples of their own (this will be easier for some of the emotions).

3. If you have older children you can work on their empathy, predicting and inferencing skills (e.g. why, how) to support their higher level understanding and verbal reasoning. Sample questions could include: 

  • Which crayon do they feel most sorry for, and why?
  • Why do you think Duncan never uses the pink crayon?
  • What could Duncan do to make the crayons happier/ feel better?
  • What makes you feel better when you are sad/ unhappy?

Use the FREE blank level question guide below for examples at each level of questioning.


I would love to hear what you and your family though of this book and which activity you liked the most?

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