Any family with small children knows that crayons and a coloring book are a staple on any playroom shelf. Unfortunately, moms know that overtime a fresh box of crayons wears down into broken nubs. Rather than throw those broken crayons away, gather the kids for a fun, eco-friendly craft project.
This make your own crayons project is a simple way to turn trash into treasure. Saving all those used crayons from the trash bin provides parents the perfect opportunity to include a lesson about recycling with afternoon playtime.
To make your own recycled crayons, you will need to gather together all of the broken crayons, a muffin tin and some cooking spray. Have the kids peel paper from the broken crayons and break any large pieces into smaller chunks about one inch long. Shorter pieces are fine, but longer pieces may not melt evenly in the oven.
While the kids prepare the crayons, preheat the oven to 150 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Place between five to seven crayons into each of the muffin cups. Place the crayons into the oven. Cook between 10 and 15 minutes until the crayons are completely melted. Remove from the oven and allow the crayons to cool completely. Run a butter knife around the edges of the muffin cups to loosen the cooled crayons. Pop them out and color to your heart’s content.
This homemade crayon project can be completed in less than an hour, making it an ideal activity for a rainy afternoon. Best of all, it leaves the kids plenty of room to get creative. Keep it traditional by combining like colors together in the muffin tins, or allow the kids to make crazy, multi-colored crayons. Have kids combine pieces of all their favorite colors into one muffin tin in order to make one super, multi-colored crayon. Consider making rainbow crayons with small bits of every color combined in a muffin tin. You could also make primary colored crayons, combining yellow, red and blue pieces into a single cup. Color combinations are only limited by the child’s imagination and the broken crayons available.
Muffin tins produce a round, thick crayon perfect for coloring backgrounds and other large areas. A quick trip to the to craft store can help you uncover supplies to create recycled crayons in other shapes. Look in the baking aisles for cupcake tins or baking molds in a variety of shapes. Any kind of mold with a closed bottom will work for this project. Just be sure the molds are oven-safe before purchasing. Spray down the tins and molds with cooking spray, fill with broken crayon bits and bake according to the directions listed above.