Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Homemade Crayons

Our crayon box was looking a bit sorry for itself last week.  A lot of the crayons were broken and the papers peeling.  I went to Asda and stocked up on new ones but I tried to think of a way of recycling the old ones rather than just throwing them in the bin.  I remembered something I had seen on Pinterest where somebody had melted their old crayons down to make little discs, so I got the children together and we attempted to make our own.

The most time consuming part was peeling off the paper.  The children quickly got bored of this part and I was left to do it myself while they went off to play, but eventually they were all bare and the children came back and helped to break them into little pieces.

We got some paper cake cases which we put in a bun tray and then we began filling them whilst sorting them at the same time.. all the pink ones first... then all the blue ones....

When we were fnished sorting, they looked like this...

I put them in the oven on about 200°C and kept checking on them.  It only took a few minutes before they had melted into liquid in the paper cases.  I took them out of the oven and put them on the side to cool and set. 

After an hour or so they had gone hard so I turned them out of the cases onto a plate.  They had a lovely marbled affect on one side and this colour explosion on the bottom!  The children were very surprised to see what our broken crayons had turned into.

The paper cases had also transformed slighly. They now had a waxy texture and had turned very colourful.  What a shame it would be to put them in the recycling bin!  So out came the glue!  I had run out of green paper so we used green napkins to cut out leaf shapes and long strips for the stems. The children stuck them onto paper to make flowers and drew bees with the new crayon discs.

I cannot believe how easy and effective this activity was and I'm tempted to break up all out new crayons just to do it again!

I was flicking through the summer edition of Creative Steps magazine this morning and saw that they have actually done the same activity in the magazine.  They did some star shapes on theirs and used glitter, which has given me some more ideas for next steps.  Perhaps we will try some different shapes next time we do it and add some different textures.


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