Sunday, May 26, 2013

Do you have too many broken crayons?

Well, we sure did! So we did something about it... Dawna's last science unit was about changing states of matter, so we changed solid crayons into liquid by adding heat, and then back into solid again!

We started with all the pieces of broken or little crayons in our crayon box.  We sorted them by color.
Then, we chose two contrasting colors (one light and one dark color), peeled off all the papers, and weighed out  16-18 grams on our little food scale (the precise weight was not hugely important, but measuring out amounts was part of the science homework). 

Next, we chopped the crayons into pea-sized pieces (the first batch we used different sized crayon pieces and it didn't melt evenly...) and put them into a mini-muffin pan.

***Very Important!!!  Coat the muffin pan generously with Crisco before putting the crayon pieces in! It makes them come out SOOOOO much easier!*******

We melted the crayons in the oven (200 degrees for about 15-20 minutes).  The second batch we used our little toaster oven and it went a lot faster. The tops do not look very cute when they come out of the oven, but rest assured that the bottom comes out cute... take care to minimize any wiggle or jiggle on the hot liquid crayons; you don't want the bottom to get too mixed up... 

After the pan cools down all the way, put a dish cloth over the top of the muffin pan and tap it sideways or upside down until the crayons pop out! I've heard if you use all Crayola crayons, the tops come out smoother, but we just used whatever we had, from restaurant crayons to Rose Art to Spiderman theme crayons... so they melted a little differently each time.  Adds to the experience, I think :) 

Now you have fun swirl chunk crayons to color with! They make for fun coloring and stacking and it makes you feel good to "up-cycle" something that could be trash around the house! 

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