Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dripping Crayon Craft


We were back to melting crayon fun today, with an old, craft/art idea from Ideals to Life.

I covered the table in a protective layer of butcher's paper, peeled a few crayons (long ones work best for keeping little fingers away from open flames), and pulled out a useless package, of very fast burning, tea lights, that have been collecting dust in one of the upper cupboards, for a while.


Then, working with my four youngest children (ages 5-10), I lit one candle for each child, and showed them how to hold a crayon over the flame, until it started to melt...


...and then let it drip onto their papers.


Of course, first we had a quick review of the stop...


...drop...


...and roll, method of putting burning clothing out, should the worst happen.


As homeschoolers, we often forget to review things like fire safety. Crafts like this can be a good reminder to teach the basics, even if, as in this case, they don't end up being needed (we were very careful).


After experimenting for a while with regular crayons, we also tried out our home molded versions. The ones with pointy edges worked really well...


...and we liked the swirled drops produced by our mixed color crayons.


The children had a good time experimenting with changing states of the wax, for both dripping, and drawing, and were surprised at how quickly wax cools from a liquid, back into a solid.


They discovered too, a flame deprived of oxygen, by a blop of melted wax, will go out - reinforcing the whole stop, drop, and roll lesson.


It turned out to be a good thing I had a large bag of expendable candles, so we could keep fresh candles lit, while the liquid wax cooled, and hardened again around the extinguished wicks. Because, it was very difficult to avoid dropping at least a few drops of wax from each crayon, onto the flames.


In the end, I'd have to say this is a craft more about the process, which was mesmerizingly enjoyable, than about the end products, which were interesting, but not something we'd hang on the wall...


...except for the ones they did on black construction paper, which I think we'll save as backgrounds for future space crafts.


It's great to be a homeschooler.

14 comments:

Raising a Happy Child said...

This is one of those "must do when she is older" activities on my list - I am thinking Easter egg designs, but space background is a pretty good idea!

Phyllis said...

The black paper one would be great for a space theme page or book. I like the Easter Egg design idea, too.

Michelle said...

Hahah, I love the stop, drop and roll! Great idea!

MichellesCharmWorld

Christy said...

This is something we will definitely try at some point. I love the idea of using the black paper designs for future space backgrounds!

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

Your stop, drop, and roll could be a safety poster - love it! My eldest would love experimenting with melting wax.

Kids and Canning Jars said...

Looks like a good one that lasted for a couple of hours....
We used to do this and drip the wax down the edge of glass coke bottles and make them "pretty".

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Kids and Canning Jars - That's funny, that's just what my mom said, when I told her what we were up to. And yes, they kept at it for well over an hour - it really was a lot of fun to do.

Amanda said...

excellent idea! I was just looking for a way to work the fire safety idea of "stop drop and roll" into our homeschool year. This is perfect. I'm adding it to my pinterest wall. Thank you!


Blessings,
Amanda

Jamie @ hands on : as we grow said...

Very interesting... wondering if I can pull this off with my 3yo. Link up to It's Playtime this week!

Ticia said...

Those would be great backgrounds for space crafts.

This would be so much fun!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Jamie - It should be okay with a three year old, as long as you have one on one supervision.

Kayla @ MPM School Supplies Blog said...

We loved this idea and featured it at our blog, MPM School Supplies Blog! We were sure to give idea/photo credit along with a link back to your blog, but we'd love for you to check it out! If there are any problems, we'll take the feature down immediately!

Thanks so much!
Kayla

Rachel said...

Thanks for this activity, we did it yesterday and my son loved it. It turned into science activity, you can check it out if you like: http://learninginmayapur.blogspot.com/

Jen said...

This is really creative. Awesome and perfect for the kids! The details of this crayon art is really fantastic. Interested in coloring activity? Check out this Chasing Magic Spring Colouring Page
EarlyLearning.Momtrusted.com: Chasing Magic Spring Colouring Page