School will be starting up before we know it. Along with the beginning of the new school year comes the school supply list. You know... the list of all the new things that you need to supply your child with for them to start school. At the end of the school year, my kids are sent home with all the partially used supplies that are left over when school is done. One of the things they bring home with them consistently is a box of broken crayon pieces.
It's rather frustrating to toss those broken crayon pieces that are really too small to be used for coloring into the trash. Most crayons are made from petroleum by products and I don't like to encourage the use of petroleum by products any more than I have to. They're too small to send back to school but they are just right to use to make recycled chunky crayons for a younger child.
Chunky crayons are the smaller crayons that are in circles or squares that are the ideal size for younger children to grasp. They are thicker than traditional crayons and not so likely to break as a crayon in the normal shape. They're also a great way to recycle broken crayons. Here's how I make mine:
You will need a mini muffin pan that you don't mind using only for chunky crayons. You won't be able to bake with it later on. I got mine at a tag sale. You will also need access to the oven and the freezer. I have the best melting results with real Crayola crayons. Cheaper brands do not melt well.
Take one box of old crayon pieces and peel off all the paper. Break into pieces about half an inch in length. You can either make crayons that are one solid color or put a variety of colors in each tin for a swirl effect. Put two or three broken pieces into each tin making sure not to put in too much and overflow the tin. Place in an oven preheated to 200F. Check every minute or two until the was is all melted. Remove the tin and let cool to room temperature. Place tin into the freezer for an hour or so to shrink the wax. This will make popping the crayons out very simple. Just tip the tin and tap slightly so the chunky crayons fall on a towel. Store in a plastic tub or baggie.
When these chunky crayons get too small or broken to use, you can remelt them with some *new* crayons to make even more. These make a great gift or a treat for a younger child whose older sibling is getting a bunch of new back to school supplies. Use them as party favors too. You can even do this with an older child to teach them the value of recycling.