We don't always do "green" projects, but these are the ones I plan on sharing most often. There will be some that may not be classified as "Eco-friendly" but as I've said before, teaching my kids to be kind to their environment is important to me, so I will be trying to focus on that.
So, welcome to the first edition of Crafting with Kids!
Today I am going to show you a great way to use up all those crayons that have broken or been used down to just a little nub.
In our house, we hate to create unnecessary trash. If we ever feel that something has the potential to be repurposed in the future, we hang on to it. Well, crayons are one of those things. Let's face it, kids are not always gentle with their crayons. They break them while coloring or leave them on the floor where someone inevitably steps on them. But they are still crayons! They still have lots of color left in them! So, we keep them. We actually have a plastic container where we collect all these bits and pieces.
Well, I found a cool project one day while surfing the web. Unfortunately, I can't recall where I found this. Anyhow,it's a great way to recycle those old crayons into new ones!
Here's what you need to complete this project:
- A collection of old crayon pieces
- a muffin tin
- No-stick cooking spray
- Some paper for coloring on when you're done!
Once you've gathered up all your supplies, the first thing you need to do is tear off all the paper from those bits of crayons you collected. This is the longest part of the project and a bit annoying if you ask me. But anyway....
Next, sort the crayons in to piles based on what "new" crayons you want to make. This is a great learning tool! Your kids can practice their sorting skills; placing all the yellow crayons together, blue crayons together etc. You can also introduce color families with this project; showing your kids that pink and red, though different shades, are still part of the same family etc. Also, you can venture into the world of color mixing; showing that when yellow is mixed with blue, you will make green etc.
Once you have all your crayons sorted the way you want, you then have to spray your muffin tin with the no-stick cook spray. I used the mini cupcake tin because my kids have little hands. You can use any size tin you want.
Place your crayon pieces into the muffin tin.
Place the tin into a pre-heated 275 degree F oven.
After about 7 - 10 minutes, all the crayon pieces should be melted. You can then swirl them with a toothpick if you want a marbleized look, stir them completely if you want the colors to mix or leave it as is.
Once the time is completely cooled, pop out your new crayons!
Now grab some paper (make sure you use BOTH sides!!) and get to coloring!!
Another great variation to the muffin/cupcake tin would be cookie cutters. I haven't tried it yet, but I would think you would be pretty successful at using a flat baking sheet with some metal cookie cutters on top. Make sure to spray the baking sheet and the cookie cutters. Fill the inside of the cutters with your crayons and proceed as normal. I would assume this would work and the result would be some cute shapes!
So, collect those crayons and get crafting! You'll enjoy this quick, easy project and so will your kids!
But that is just one mom's opinion.
Have you recycled your old crayons this way?
Let me know your thoughts!