"That's neat," I said. "We could make one of those with our old crayons at home."
Of course, I've never actually recycled crayons myself. I've certainly heard of it being done before, and I had a general idea of the concept, I'd just never tried it. But in one distracted moment, I'd made what amounted to a promise - at least to a five year old mind. It was a promise, he reminded me of again today.
Figuring I'd be in for a weekly ritual of, "See the special crayon Mom? When are we going to make one like you said?" I decided it might be better to just go ahead and get it done, and avoid all the guilt and nagging.
We started by sorting out, and peeling, some of our broken, or really dull crayons,.
Then I chopped them into little pieces, gaining a nice blister on my finger in the process.
The kids and I placed the chopped pieces into a silicon cake pan, shaped like flowers and a pot. I'm pretty sure a mini muffin pan would work too, but I liked the flower shapes, and I hoped the flexible nature of the silicone pan would make it easier to get the finished crayons out.
When we had the pan full, we placed it into the oven on the lowest heat setting (170 degrees Fahrenheit).
After about forty-five minutes, the crayon bits were completely melted. I removed the pan from the oven, and left it to cool for about fifteen more minutes.
Once the crayons had cooled, and hardened back up, I popped them out of the pan. The little ones were thrilled with their new crayons, and I had fulfilled my promise. Plus, we got rid of a lot of old broken crayons out of our coloring drawer.
Let's call it spring cleaning homeschool style. And, it is great to be a homeschooler!