Recycled Heart Crayons
Valentine's Day is typically overrun with chocolates and heart candies. Since my oldest son is in kindergarten this year, I wanted him to be able to bring in something for Valentine's Day that was fun and wouldn't add to the mounds of candy and treats they were sure to get at their party. I figured we'd stretch our "green" muscles and give recycled crayons a try. As with all things, I wanted to make these using things we already had at home. It was a bit of an adventure, but we succeeded and the kids loved the final product!
How we did it:
- crayons (lots of broken ones)
- snack cups (optional)
- jar / glass jar / mason jar
- craft sticks / popsicle sticks (for stirring)
- plastic heart mold
- scrapbook paper
- bead bag
Gather all materials. We used lots of broken crayons from our crayon bin. We started out using Dixie Cups to melt in, but also ended up using some old pickle and relish jars to melt in as well. Be sure to use jars that can be thrown away when you are finished if you decide to use jars.
The kids got to work separating the crayons by color and peeling the paper off of them. This was a great fine motor skills activity and color sorting project for my four-year-old.
To make it easier for the kids, I scored the sides of most of the crayons with a knife.
Once all of the crayons were separated and peeled, the kids broke the larger ones into pieces and put them into Dixie cups by color.
I put one color at a time in the microwave for 3-5 minutes. (Note: Microwaves differ so your times may vary. Be careful not to overheat your microwave.)
We took the cups out every few minutes and the kids stirred them with craft sticks. The kids loved watching how the crayons changed from solid to liquid.
We found that our heating times were less when we used the glass jars. Be careful with this because the jars get VERY HOT! Be sure to use a pot holder and have an adult do all the handling.
Once the wax melted, we poured the wax into the heart molds. I did this with the glass jars, but my older kids were able to pour the Dixie cups. We let the wax set for a few minutes and then placed the molds in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden.
Once the wax was frozen, the crayons popped right out of the molds. It was amazing how excited my kids were to color with crayons that were boring and broken earlier that day!
For our valentines, the kids put two crayons into small jewelry bags that we found at Michael's. Then we used scrap paper to decorate and make tags that read "You Color My World." They were a big hit with both the little kids and the big kids.