Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Crayon Confections

Crayon Confections!

So I've been on a mission to declutter... This week it has been our art supplies. As I sorted, organized, I realized we have a lot of great materials! These included a box of broken and outgrown baby crayons. I have also been extra busy finishing Christmas projects, and needed a project that directly involved the kids on a rainy day.

The kids were excited to help me peel the old crayons, something that they are often asked to not do! They then sorted them into cans and jars by color. Sorting is a great early math project!
We created a double boiler by placing the jars in a pot 1/2 filled with water on low to medium. When the water boiled I turned it down. Once the wax was melted I poured it into some candy molds that we've had stashed in the cupboard for a couple of years. On my first run I filled them to the top making sure I had a little extra of each color to account for settling. However when I went to top them off the tops came up over. That batch went back in their respective jars. The second batch went much better; I left the first filling an approximate 1/8 inch below the top. When it had cooled I was then able to top off to the top of the mold without having a rounded bottom. My kids loved them! If making them look like candies remind younger children that they are not for eating! I plan to put these in mini cupcake wrappers and give away as sets.

Here's how to do it.

You'll need:
  • A bunch of old crayons
  • Clean recycled jars or cans
  • A pot
  • Some sort of mold, I used old candy molds, but muffin tins, ice cube trays, etc. can work well. If using a rigid mold you might want to spray first with cooking spray to ensure you can get your crayons out.
  • Newspaper, to contain any spillage
  • Water
  • A stove
The How:
Kids can peel and sort the crayons. Once this is done the grown up should put the jars in a pot, add enough water to come about 1/2 way up your jars/cans. Place on stove with burner on low to medium. When the water starts to boil you will want to turn the heat down. You will want to stay close to the stove to monitor the melting process. Have your kids spread out the newspaper and prepare your molds. Caution! Wax will now be very hot!! When your wax is melted the adult or teen should carefully pour the wax to about an 1/8th inch of the top. Make sure you reserve some of each color to top off. Once your crayon is set it will be slightly hard and have a dip in the middle. Now you can pour in enough wax to top off the crayon. Let set. 10-15 minutes for smaller crayons. Then tip over and pop out. With candy molds the heat from your hand releases the crayons. If crayons refuse to come out, try filling the sink with very hot water and dipping the bottom of your mold in the water. Use or wrap for a great gift!

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