One of my favorite showrooms at the Toy Fair this year was Crayola. Maybe because of the artist in me, my love for markers of all kinds, or the many creative products I’ve used to help kids learn language and tell a story. For many kids, physically drawing can draw out a story and reinforce it visually. As I moved from one product demonstration to another, I was invited into a dimly lit room showcasing their new Shadow FX Color Projector. As they drew on the clear panel with special gel FX markers (doesn’t that name just make them cool?) and the drawing became life-size on the wall, I knew this would be such fun in speech therapy.
So I packed the projector in my bag and took off to see several kids working on articulation and language goals. As I emptied the box of the few simple props—a clear drawing panel with markers, a shadow shapes sheet of props like an astronaut, alien and a lightning rod and the colored light projector–kids got really excited. They immediately started to draw faces, aliens, trees, and jets to project on the wall. We dimmed the lights, turned on the colored LED light pods and I heard a few gasps. Red, blue, green and multi-colored light options expanded and varied the lines but we till needed our cut-out props to animate our story. The alien was most popular as he sat down, flew through the sky and stopped off for a bite to eat during a lightning storm. This story-telling venue is so much fun that kids are excited to work on their oral development of setting, characters, problem, actions for a solution and conclusion as they add on to their shadow and light show. Now that they know how to use the projector, I think it would also be a great tool for taking time to plan a story, ensuring all parts are included. One little guy was so excited he invited his mom down to the basement wall which was our big screen to hear his creation.
The above opinions are solely those of the author. The Shadow FX Color Projector was provided for review for the PAL Award by Crayola.