Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Make your own recycled crayons!

I've always wanted to try making recycled crayons, but never knew just how easy and fun it was until I read Jen's recent blog post. And since we have tons of broken crayons on account of them not always being picked up promptly and Isaiah often pushing too hard, I decided to give it a shot.


1) Peel the wrappers off - Also known as "making the crayons nakie", according to Abbie. Some of them came off easily, but others were quite difficult for the kids, and even for myself. Next time, I might try soaking the stubborn ones in water a few minutes. But, it was a calming activity, and an exercise in perseverance and like Jen pointed out, fine motor skills.

2) Put the crayon bits in an paper-lined muffin tin - This is the fun part, deciding which colors to mix. Try solid colors, tone-on-tone, or a random rainbow mix. I filled the tins up to about halfway, but if I did it again, I would do it to 3/4 because they melt down quite a bit.

Recycled crayons... before

3) Place pan in a 300* oven until completely melted - This only took about 7 minutes for us, but may take a few minutes longer if the tins are fuller.

4) Remove and let cool - You'll want to remove them from the oven very carefully to preserve the color swirls. Let them cool for a few hours before attempting to remove from liners.

5) Clear a space on the refrigerator door - For all your child's new artwork, of course! Abbie was amazed she could draw in rainbow colors, and has declared these to be magic crayons. Isaiah loves his giant yellow and orange crayon, as those are his favorite colors.

Finished results!

We'll definitely be doing this activity again. I've already put a baggie in the activity closet with "broken crayons" written on it to save little bits and pieces until we have enough. Let me know if you give it a try!


Jen said...

What a fantastic idea!!! Thanks for sharing these great directions. I'm definitely going to start saving those broken crayons now!

Any thoughts about whether it would be a bad idea to mix "washable" crayons with ones that aren't washable? We have some of both but probably not enough of just the washable ones to do this.....

~ April ~ EnchantedDandelions said...

I have no clue, honestly. I don't *think* we had any washable ones in our mix.

Maybe put 1 piece of regular and 1 piece of washable in a tin and melt, to just make sure it still bonds together before embarking on the project full-scale?

I hope BB and BJ enjoy it!

Jen said...

good idea -- i'll let you know what happens!

♥Lisa♥ @ FinalScore:Boys3Girls2 said...

I got the SPD swing while we were on vacation and I want to send it to you. I was thinking and my son has more of a balance issue and while the kids would like the swing i think you would get more use and benefit out of it. My son is 9 and yours is only 3. so please say yes youll take it.! lol

StatMama said...

I LOVE this idea!!!

They made crayon hearts at preschool last year, and the teacher used rubber heart-shaped cupcake forms. They came free with ease. I've seen them at Wal Mart, you could try that for easier removal :)

~ April ~ EnchantedDandelions said...

Ooh, you mean the silicon muffin pans? That's a great idea. I don't have any, but have been wanting a set for a long time.

Dena said...

I'm definitely keeping this for a rainy day project with the grand kids. Thanks for sharing it.