Recycled Crayons

May 29, 2012

I was very eager to get my daughter her first box of crayons.  When the time came, she opened the box and peeled the labels off of each crayon. Sophia then went ahead and snapped them into small pieces. This process brought her more joy than actually coloring with the crayons. I figured that since peeling the labels off of the crayons required precise hand and finger movements that she was actually increasing her fine motor skills. And, it made sense that she broke them into smaller, more manageable pieces since the crayons easily broke when she tried to draw with them. As a result, we had a large box of broken and "naked" crayons and  I suggested that we repurpose them into colorful heart shaped crayons for her friends for Valentine's Day.

Sophia's favorite colors are pink and purple so we didn't have enough of those colors for our project. I went ahead and carefully removed the labels from a few more crayons with a sharp blade knife while my daughter was sleeping. Then, the next day, I let her break them into small pieces.

We had a great discussion on color shades and how we would sort the crayons.

We filled a heart shaped silicone mold with the crayon pieces.  Candy molds would also work well for this project.

We placed the mold on a baking sheet and baked our crayons slowly at 200 degrees for 30 minutes. We kept a careful eye on the crayons as to not let them bake too long. The moment they looked like the above picture, we removed them from the oven and let them cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before placing them in the freezer for 30 minutes. Since each oven may vary in temperature and the depth of the molds may be different, the baking and freezing time may differ. 

Once the crayons cooled, we popped them out of the silicone mold and placed a bunch in a small plastic bag with a note that read, "You are a colorful friend!" and gave them out at a Valentine's Day party. The swirls of different colors create such a beautiful effect and the wide shapes are easier for little hands to hold and manipulate since they don't easily break if they are squeezed too hard.  


*Tips ~ Crayola crayons worked best in our experience.  To clean the silicone mold, cover the crayon residue with vegetable oil.  Use a Q-tip to get into the corners.  After allowing the mold to sit for 15 minutes, rinse with hot soapy water.


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