Monday, January 28, 2013

Crayon Hearts


You can Google how to do this, but I thought I would write it up anyway.  Here are two links to where I got my information.  This site gave me general instructions and this site I checked out when they didn't seem to be melting right.

What You Need:
  • CRAYONS
  • Oven
  • Muffin tin / candy mold.  I used this one, but a lot of people appear to use this size.  I made hearts, but you can make any shape you can find a mold for.  I really liked the silicone mold.  They were very easy to remove. 


What to Do:
  1. Prep the crayons.  
    • I had years and years worth of broken crayons saved from when I was a kid and from teaching.  That gave me a huge head start.  I got about a third of a gallon sized Ziplock bag without having to break up many whole crayons.  In preparation for making these, I made sure I always took home the crayons offered at restaurants.  I used at least twenty of those.  
    • Unwrap all the crayons.  This is the time consuming part.  
    • Break them into small pieces.  The web sites said to use a knife, but we did just find breaking them by hand.  
    • Avoid using the big, thick beginner crayons.  I found that those were still solid when all the others were melted.  
  2. Preheat the oven.  One site said 230 and another said 275.  I wound up using 240 for two of the batches.  
  3. Fill the molds.  If you have any especially pretty colors, put them on the bottom.  You can mix up all the colors like we did, or you can sort them by shade.  We filled the first two batches about half way and only about a third of the way for the last batch.  It depends how thick you want the crayons and how many you need to make with what you have. 
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.  
  5. Check them.  Ours always needed a bit longer, probably because they were a larger cup size.  The first batch went for 25 minutes (at 230 degrees) and the other two went for about 18 (at 240).
  6. Remove the molds from the oven carefully and put them out to cool on a flat service.  (You don't want the wax spill or to pool to one side).  
  7. They cool very quickly.  Ten or fifteen minutes and I'd say they were cool to the touch.  I then put them in the fridge for maybe another 10 just to be sure.  
  8. Pop them out of the molds. 




Extensions:

  • Lots of opportunity to talk about color with your child.   
    • Younger children can identify about the basic colors (red, yellow, blue, etc), while older children can learn about shades and the more complex names for them (lavender, copper, teal, etc).  
    • Ask your child to make up their own names for the different colors.  For example, school bus yellow or Elmo red.  
    • As you fill the cups, play a game naming all the items you can think or see in the room that are of a certain color.  
    • You can use this as a color sorting activity if you'd like to make your crayons only one color each. 
  • Lots of math oppertunities, too.
    • You can count the number of pieces as you put them in each cup.  
    • You can estimate how many crayons you will need to fill a cup, then test your prediction.
    • You can work on simple addition and subtraction using the number of crayons in each cup.  (Ex. "We have five in each cup.  How many do we have altogether?" or "We've put six in this cup.  How many do we have leave from the ten we started with?")
    • You can work on early math skill of one-to-one correspondence.  Start with making sure each cup has one piece.  Then keep adding making them remain equal.  
    • Before putting pieces into the cups, you can play making patterns with the pieces.  Ask your child to continue the pattern.  Ask your child to make up a new pattern.  
    • Again, before placing them in the cup, pull out a few pieces and ask your child to line them up by size.  You could do length or thickness.  
    • Talk about the shape of the molds.  You can also talk about the shape of the crayons: The ends look like circles or triangles, while the whole crayon is a cylinder.  
  • Read  How is a Crayon Made.
  • Watch this video from Mr Roger's or this video from Sesame St about how crayons are made.  The Mr Roger's one is almost 6 minutes and the Sesame St one only about 2 minutes.  By the way, I *strongly* remember that Sesame St one from my childhood.  
  • Sing a song about crayons or colors, if you know one.  None readily come to mind for me.  :(
  • Last, but not least, draw something with some crayons!!

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