You probably have a big box of old, broken crayons that your kids don’t want to use. They still work perfectly (and most crayon boxes come with sharpeners, so you can still get a fine tip) but you know how kids are. They want new crayons, just because they’re…new.
Recycle the broken crayons and use them for fun crafts. Here are some great projects for a boring summer day or a rainy afternoon. Many of these need adult supervision, though. That’s a great excuse for Mom to put away the laundry basket and declare an ‘Art Day.’ After all, crayons (even broken ones) are always more fun than chores.
1. Wax paper sun catcher
Draw a simple design on a sheet of wax paper. Keep it simple: flowers, stars or even plain shapes. (You can also trace over a simple drawing in your coloring book.)
With paper clips, secure the wax paper on another sheet of wax paper. Then, cut out your pattern. You will now have two identical shapes.
Cover your table with old newspapers. Then, put one of the cut-outs on the table. Get a cheese grater and oven mitts (to protect your hands). Grate crayons over the cut-out, completely covering it with colorful shavings.
Now, get the second cut-out and cover the first sheet, sandwiching the crayon shavings in between. Try to make the edges match perfectly. Cover it with newspaper. Then, press an iron (pre-heat on the lowest possible setting) and press for 10 seconds. Gently remove the newspaper to check if all the crayon has melted. If not, iron it for another 5 to 10 seconds. Leave to cool.
Then, punch a hole at the top of the cut-out and hang with thread by the window sill.
2. Sandpaper Impressionist prints
This is a great way to teach your child about the Impressionists. These artists liked to use loose brush strokes to capture the way light and color seemed to ‘dance.’ You can get this effect by drawing on coarse sandpaper, coloring it, and then putting white construction paper on top. Then, just iron on it to transfer the image. You can get a different effect by baking the sandpaper drawing in an oven at 225F for just 30 seconds.
3. Rainbow crayons
Group crayons into similar colors (like green and light green, orange and red). Pour small, broken pieces into muffin pans (use cupcake liners and fill only halfway). Bake in the oven for about 7 to 10 minutes until the colors run together. Let these cool and harden. Now you have rainbow cookie crayons that are great for coloring large areas and even give instant shading!
You can also put crayons in plastic candy molds and melt in the microwave for about 5 to 8 minutes. Your kids will love having crayons shaped like hearts, stars, etc.
For extra fun, you can add glitter or the sparkly confetti to the crayons. These are great for children’s birthday parties. Make a bunch and then leave at each table with coloring sheets. The guests can draw while waiting for the food or games to start.
4. Candle art
This craft is better for older kids, but still needs adult supervision. Place a candle in a glass bottle (like an old bottle of wine, with the label washed off). Light the candle, and then hold the end of the crayon to the flame. The wax will melt, and create a beautiful colored ‘river’ down the sides of the candle and bottle.