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...
...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.