15 February 2010

melted crayon hearts

The blogosphere was flooded with melted crayon heart valentines this month. H saw this, after we had started working on her inchworm valentines, of course. I told her I would save it in our idea file for next year's classroom valentines. By the way, the inchworm valentines were a big hit with her classmates, but they were quite a trial for me. I'll post about it later if anyone is interested.

Well, today is President's Day, and there is no school. As I was lounging in my PJs after breakfast this morning, H yells, 

"Moo-om! We never made the crayon hearts!!"
"We're going to do that next year, remember?"
"But Moo-om! I want to try it!!"

Ugh. OK. I instructed her to collect the broken crayons out of her crayon box while I gathered the rest of the materials--silicone heart-shaped muffin cups and foil.
H wanted to make a rainbow heart crayon, so we arranged the crayons in rainbow order. Note: do not attempt to make patterns with crayons that will then melt and pool together.
We baked them according to directions found on Make and Takes. (Basically, 250° F for 7-8 minutes, but don't walk away.) The kids enjoyed watching the wax melt in the oven. Yeah, for about 10 seconds. Then they were off chasing each other around the house and screaming. My ideal morning, I tell you--kid begs to do craft, mom indulges, kid runs off and expects mom to finish said craft.
I let them cool on a rack for a few minutes, then popped them in the freezer to cool quickly. Umm...don't do this. Maybe putting them in the refrigerator would work, but my crayons cracked, and I assume it was due to the large, sudden temperature change.

Anyway, once cooled, un-mold. This was very easy.

The crayon above turned out very Earthy. Which is OK if you want a crayon for coloring landscapes. But H wanted a rainbow crayon. Hers, below, somewhat resembles a rainbow on the bottom. But it doesn't color in rainbow, and you know, is in two pieces due to that crack.
So after we unmolded the crayons, I asked the kids to test them out. J tried out the Earth crayon, and H tried her rainbow.
J was impressed that it actually colored. It wasn't in the shape of a crayon, so it surely couldn't have the same coloring properties, right? :)

And H? She didn't like the way hers colored. Her opinion was soured from the start by the two-piece, semi-rainbow crayon, so it really didn't have a chance. She chucked it in the garbage. I took offense at first, but then realized that it was just an experiment, and we still spent some quality time together during the crafting process. Besides, who am I to frown upon her tossing a crafted crayon when I constantly beg her to put her week-old drawings and school papers in the recycling bin?

What do you do to recycle broken crayons? What do you do with all those school papers and drawings after they're done with their requisite time under a fridge magnet?

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