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Saturday, May 14, 2022

Magic Crayon Resist Sight Words Activity

My youngest daughter is in prep {the Australian equivalent of kindergarten} and is learning sight words for the first time. It's becoming increasingly obvious that she learns and retains information much better through hands on activities and play, rather than memorising flashcards or doing worksheets, so I've been coming up with some creative and fun ways to teach sight words.

Crayon resist magic paintings have always been popular with the girls so I put together this crayon resist sight word painting activity for her. It's a fun, interactive and mesmerising way to teach sight words to preschoolers and kindergarteners. Plus it adds a little magic!

sight words crayon resist painting


Crayon resist painting, like other resist art, is a painting technique that uses multiple layers to create a final image. The painting includes a resist layer drawn using crayon, which reveals an invisible design when the painting is complete. The key is to use watercolour paint, or very watered down poster paint, and a white crayon.

Crayons work as a resist layer because the wax in crayons is resistant to water, so it repels away the paint when used with water based paint. If you want to make your crayon resist magic like we did then the secret is to use only white crayon so it's completely invisible before being painted.


Crayon resist paintings can be used to make surprise paintings for any subject, so it was easy to turn this into a sight word activity. The best part is the kids don't even realise they're learning because they're having so much fun. It's also really easy to set up and can be done in the classroom too, you just need a few simple art supplies.

supplies for crayon resist painting

You will need:

  • White paper
  • White crayon
  • Watercolour paints
  • Water container
  • Paintbrush
  • Water

All of the items needed for this activity can be purchased from a dollar store, craft store like Riot Art & Craft or Amazon, if you don't already have them. If you don't have watercolour paints you can use very watered down tempura paint, or make watercolours using food colouring and water.

If you don't have a white crayon, you can create the same effect using a white wax candle, white oil pastels, or some white glue {let the glue dry completely before painting over it}.


1. Use the white crayon to write the sight words on the paper. Do this while your child isn't looking so they won't know where you've drawn the words. Remember you won't be able to see the word as you write it, so start on one side of the page and work across so you don't write over existing words.
writing sight words with a white crayon
Adjust the sight words used based on your child's ability. You can either:

  • Use one sight word all across the page.
  • Focus on only a few sight words and write them multiple times on the page.
  • Use the weekly sight word list from their school/curriculum.
  • Include a combination of sight words they already know and some new ones they're still learning.

2. Get your child to paint on the paper. They can paint it all in one colour, or alternate colours. As they paint over a word it will start to appear like magic as the crayon wax repels the paint. 
letter b appearing in watercolour paint

Tips for painting: 
  • Darker paint colours will make the words stand out more.
  • Too much paint may cover up part of the words, if this happens use a paper towel to soak up a bit of the paint and the word will reappear.

3. As they uncover a word get them to say the word. If they don't know the word you can say it for them or give them hints to work it out. If they do know the word, ask them to use it in a sentence.

see crayon resist word

When we did our sight word crayon resist paintings I included some sight words from her weekly list and some that she already knew so it gave her a little more confidence. She didn't know how many words were going to be on the page or where to find them so there was a huge element of surprise which made it exciting for her.

crayon resist sight words

She loved this activity so much we ended up doing it for almost an hour. She kept making me write more pages of words, then letters of the alphabet, then shapes, then pictures of random objects. It's safe to say this was a really engaging sight word activity for her and we'll be doing it again throughout the year with new words.

child painting sight words

If you find your children aren't interested in finding magic words, you can adjust this activity so that the words aren't invisible. Simply write the words in a coloured crayon so they're visible and get the children to point to the word you say and then paint it.

The crayon will still repel the paint {as long as you use water based paint} and the children will still be learning sight words in an interactive way, it'll just be easier for them to find the words.

how to do crayon resist sight words painting

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