It’s incredible how beat up a box of crayons gets in a Y5 classroom. “I broke my crayon!” seems to be called out within seconds of our first creative endeavors in September.
I am big on recycling, so I rarely throw anything out and my home is a testimony to my pack rat behavior.
Crayons are no exception and I LOVE that I can use broken ones for a myriad of awesome art projects.
I melt them in mini muffin tins for a sweet surprise for my students treasure boxes for Open House and revisit the concept in February for Valentine’s Day.
You can imagine how thrilled I was to find Wilton’s newest metal cookie/muffin tin! PTL it was on sale 40% off. I couldn’t wait to get home and melt crayons.
Peeling is easier if you just score the wrapper with an Exacto knife. I also cut crayons into smaller pieces with a kitchen scissors.
Spray your muffin tin with Pam.
Put a variety of rainbow colors together in the same tin, or mix shades of one color together if you have a child or grandson like mine, who is simply ape over green!
Melt crayons at 250 degrees for 10 -15 minutes. All ovens are different so watch through the window.
Gently remove tray and set on stove 'til the wax solidifies. I put mine in the freezer for a few minutes so they pop right out.
I have a zillion chocolate molds for all of the seasons, as well, so today I putzed with melting crayons in the microwave.
Put a paper towel down. Put cut up crayons in a micro safe glass mug. (My handle got hot so just a head’s up.)
When my crayons were almost to the top, they melted down to ½ a mug full of liquid which only filled up ½ my chocolate molds, (depending on size) so be prepared to melt lots of crayons if you have lots of kiddo’s.
Bend the rim of a paper cup so that it has a pointy pouring spout. Pour wax from mug into paper cup.
Make sure you cover your counter top. I made a big mess, but I cleaned up with Scrubbing Bubbles. Forget ever using the mug for coffee again tho’.
Carefully pour wax into molds. The paper cup will be hot.
I experimented with making layers of different colors with deeper molds, and that looked really cool.
Bag up a few different crayons in Snack Baggies with a header that says: You COLOR my world with happiness. Happy Valentine’s Day from your teacher!
If your little ones are like mine, they will want to try them out right away, so why not set up a valentine center. Tell them to save their crayons for home and take them to their lockers, but they can use your "class set" at the valentine center.
Set up a TV tray with a few crayon cakes. Pre-cut a small, medium and large heart from old file folders. Have students place the hearts in an appealing manner on their paper and then rub around them with the crayon cake.
I added a bit more pizzazz by allowing students to punch a small, medium and large heart with metal heart punches and then glue them on the matching size hearts.
Carry it a step farther and have them label the appropriate hearts with an S, M and L. Older students can write "I love you with all of my hearts." Younger students can glue on the phrase.
Click on the link to view/download these Melted Valentine Crayon Activities.
I was surfing the net to see what other people were doing with melted crayons and one mom lays paper on a warming tray and slowly draws with the crayons 'til they melt. Even tho' she is allowing her children to do this, I still worry about getting burned, cords, and starting fires.
I wondered if a mug warmer would do the same thing, but of course I just donated mine to Goodwill, you know the saying... I did have my mini chocolate melting crockpot so I laid that on its side, put a piece of wax paper inside and then put the heart and letter down and rested the crayon on the paper 'til it melted.
I picked the papers up every now and then and let the wax puddles run and then put the paper back on the pot. I experimented with making a heart and my grandson's initials. I think they turned out super.
Do NOT do this with kids as this was even tricky for crazy me. I'm going to put contact paper over them and give them to them for a bookmark. Anyway, I had a fun afternoon and hope you enjoy these ideas for your students as well.
Finally, ever in the “What can I do with this?” mode, I looked at the big pile of really colorful crayon scraps and swirled them into a heart.
I took this picture and will glue them together to make my husband a 3-D poster valentine that says: Life can be messy. Thanks for allowing me to be creative and coloring my world with LOVE.
I hope whatever you're whipping together for the ones you love turns out simply smashing! Have fun with your endeavors and Happy happy Valentine's Day!
Be sure and pop on in tomorrow for who knows what!
Scroll down for article #3 and my last valentine idea for this year. It would make a fun center for party day!