Sunday, April 30, 2017

Repurposing Old Crayons

We have been discussing repurposing materials in the classroom all year long. Our students have become comfortable with the idea that materials can have many different purposes. Playing with materials that have been used for other things is the new "normal" in our classroom. Our tinkering bin is filled with corks, wooden spools, chop sticks, a variety of caps (from yogurt and fruit pouches) and packaging.

One item we have a lot of in the classroom is old crayons. Old crayons (broken and worn down) often go unused in bins. I have found a few great activities to repurpose old crayons. One of my favorites is to take old crayons and melt them into new crayons. The children unwrap (great for fine motor development) the paper from around the crayon. You can also soak them in water first to make for easier paper removal. Unwrap a lot of crayons in a variety of colors. Use a silicone tray to melt your crayons (I bought mine at Michael's). Break the crayons into small pieces and put a few random colors in each mold. 
Fill each mold halfway up with crayons. Melt your crayons in the oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until they melt and turn into liquid. Remove the crayons from the oven and either put them in the freezer or let them solidify at room temperature until they are hard again. That's it! The only hard part is watching the crayons while in the oven because they do melt quickly.

Our worktable 

Each mold is labeled with the child's initials
A picture is taken so it's easy to identify each child's crayon
We watched the crayons melt!

The crayons cool down and solidify 

Our new heart shaped crayons!