a content='IE=EmulateIE7' http-equiv='X-UA-Compatible'/> Kenna's Felt Forest: Chunky Toddler Crayons

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chunky Toddler Crayons

Kenna is a scribbling maniac these days! She loves to draw and color and write on anything that holds still. So far, she's decorated my flat screen TV, the mirrors, my wood floors, and the toilet seat. She's truly a budding artist.

Her favorite medium is marker, and I think I've finally figured out why. Markers are thick and easy to grasp. Well, arming a one and a half year old with markers is always a poor idea, so I googled around to see if I could come up with something better for her to color with.

I got inspired by the idea of melting regular crayons down into larger, chunkier crayons. Why not? She has such a hard time gripping those little crayons that she loses interest very quickly, so they're just sitting around taking up space.

First I soaked the crayons in cold water to loosen the paper. It worked like a charm- the paper slid off every crayon with ease (except one really really stubborn one that must have had double glue on it or something... grrr.)

I grabbed my mini-muffin pan and lightly coated with vegetable oil, hoping the crayons wouldn't stick too horribly. (oh, wouldn't those silicone ice cube trays in all different shapes be fun?)

Then Kenna and I sorted the crayons into colors, and broke the crayons into about four pieces each. (You could of course make rainbow crayons or medley crayons, or contrasting color crayons... I'll try those ideas next time!!) Kenna chose which spot to put each color in.

I set the oven for 300 degrees F and let the crayon pieces bake for about 6 minutes until the pieces were completely melted.

Here they are, all gooey and melty in the oven after about 4 minutes:

I took a toothpick to each waxy puddle and gently swirled the colors together. (just to experiment) I then let them set up for about fifteen minutes. I read somewhere that they would set up faster in the freezer, so in they went for about 20 minutes. I checked on them and they were already nice and hard, and pulling away from the sides! They popped right out of the muffin tin- whew! (Hubby would not have been happy...)

This is what they looked like when they came out. I think they look so inspiring! Too bad Kenna is sleeping now.We'll have to wait til she wakes up to start a new masterpiece.
I only did a few colors just in case my recipe needed modifying. (Plus, this was a "hurry and finish before naptime" project.) The next batch is going to be a lot bigger, and I'm going to try some different shapes!
These chunky crayons are super-easy to make and would make great 1st birthday gifts, along with some paper or coloring books. These crayons are great for inspiring the very young to start working on their fine motor skills. Drawing, scribbing and pretend writing are the foundations of future literacy!!

1 comment:

  1. Okay, these are absolutely the greatest. And nice to know the pan won't be ruined! What a great way to use up old, broken crayons too!


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