Thursday, April 28, 2011

Renewing the Rainbow

    I'm guessing that if you have kids you have some little bits of crayons that get thrown away periodically. Have you pondered about the sheer amount of crayons that are wasted at restaurants. I have three kids and we receive a minimum of two crayons per kid. In two to four dinners out we have accumulated a box of crayons! My husband thinks I am a little crazy for taking the crayons, but why waste?! What to do? Well, you make new crayons with them. It's a bit time-consuming, yet worth the time to see your children's amazed faces. It can be a great time to chat with your kids as you  peel the paper of the crayons. Or it could be an educational art project. The kids can see how a solid becomes a liquid when placed in heat and back to a solid as the wax cools. Just think you are teaching your children how to reuse their things and this a $0 project, which always make it better.
     First, gather all your crayons. Now it's time to start peeling the paper off. Try to get under the seam of the paper if you can with your nail. Some are stubborn and that is when you can decide if every crayon in that barrel is worth your time.

      A few minustes before you're done peeling, pause and preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Start layering the crayons in a muffin pan or mini-loaf pan as we used. Even better would be a shaped muffin pan. We did some crazy crayons, aka mixed up leftover crayons, and some in the same color range.
      Heat in the oven for 7-8 minutes and begin checking the crayons every minute or so until they look like rainbow soup.

     Remove and cool on the counter until hardened. We chose to speed up the process and stuck the pan in the freezer after they started cooling on the counter. Once the crayon begins pulling away from the pan you can take them out. I flipped my pan over and they popped out on their own.
     Here is our rainbow crayon which Mary was more than happy to display. This really is an easy, cheap and fun project. I hope you have fun and color up a rainbow!

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