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hot summer day fun: crayon melts!

Jul 11, 2012 // 9 comments // Categories: science, science experiments for kids // Tags: , , , .

fun summer crafts for kidsIt’s been so incredibly hot here in Maryland, I’m sure you can fry an egg on the sidewalk.

At least I’m guessing you can because it’s been upwards of 100 degrees but it feels about a million.  And muggy.  And really sticky.  And buggy.

But because it’s been so hot, we’ve been taking it pretty easy—reading, doing some writing, and trying out a few (can’t wait to share them!) new-for-us things and a handful of throwback crafts.

There was one day, however, when we did get a little cra-zeee, and I used the day’s sweltering weather to teach the kids a little bit about how powerful our sun could really be—and to help them realize how lucky we really were.

All we needed were some crayons, a cookie sheet, cookie cutters, and the hot, hot sun for a crafty-science experiment that was totally easy and so much fun.

Here’s the skinny. . .

  • Hot Summer Day Crayon Melts:  We have always kept our crayon bits—all the way back when Owen was trying to master the ever-so-difficult tripod grip, up until now, we used them some way or another for learning or creating.

So after swim practice in the morning—after lunch and a whole lot of vegging out—and before we returned to the pool to meet up with friends and play, I said to Maddy, Owen, and Cora, It is seriously a scorcher.  It’s insanely hot today. Let’s do a quickie, crazy experiment before we head back to the pool. I think we’ll see first-hand how incredibly strong the sun is today.

fun summer craft for kids

Our crayon bit box came in handy today!

I grabbed a few things: the box of crayon bits, a cookie sheet, the aluminum foil, clear plastic wrap, and cookie cutters.

Then I said, Let’s start peeling! We’re going to melt these puppies!

All we did was peel the crayons. . .

crayon melt craft for kids

. . . then size them to the best cookie cutters.

We peeled and chatted and peeled and chatted, and as always, some crayons were easier to peel than others.  After we had a bunch peeled, we covered the tray with aluminum foil and each choose some cookie cutters to use.

Maddy said, You mean we can make cookie-shaped crayons?

 

We put the crayon bits inside cookie cutters. . .

crayon melt craft for kids

. . . and we were ready for melting!

I think so, I said.  It’s about 100 degrees outside. I am pretty sure that the sun will bake these crayon cookies.

We made sure to fill as many cookie cutters as we could with a variety of colors.  Some we tried to keep monochromatic—or all shades of one color, and others we tried to keep totally mixed and rainbow-beautiful.

Before we set out our tray to the driveway ‘oven’, I said, Let’s just make sure these will melt by giving it a plastic roof, like a greenhouse.   I bet if we cover it with plastic wrap, the heat will stay inside and really melt these guys.

 

crayon melt craft for kids

We wrapped the tray with plastic wrap,

 

crayon melt craft for kids

and BOY! was it hot!

We turned a plastic cup upside down on each corner of the tray, just to raise it a bit, and then we covered the tray with plastic wrap.   And then we placed the tray on the top of our black driveway, and we headed to the pool.

crayon melt craft for kids

A few hours later and a whole lot cooler, we pulled up to our house, and we checked on our ‘baked goods’.

OH MY GOSH!!! Mommy, the crayons are watery—they’re like soup!! Owen screamed.  He was the first to check out our work, and he was totally correct.

The crayons had melted to liquid in some spots while other parts of the crayons hadn’t melted at all.  It was so interesting.   We tried to figure out if the inconsistent melting was due to the location of the items on the tray or something else, but we couldn’t tell.

It did seem like some of the un-melted crayons may have been the cheaper ones—and that the good ole Crayolas were the more melty.

Because our crayons had melted too much, we had to wait to pop them out of their shapes.   We put the tray into the refrigerator to cool and had dinner.

A few hours later, the crayon cookies were cool and we could finally examine our work—and the crayon shapes were beautiful!!

Maddy, Owen, and Cora had a blast popping out the shapes and trying to color with their crayon works of art.

Crayons melted–

crayon melt craft for kids

–and after they cooled, they were awesome shapes!

We talked a bit about how hot the sun must have been to melt the crayons that quickly, and I really tried to emphasize how very lucky we were—how many people don’t have the luxuries that we have, like a cool house and a swimming pool.

And how absolutely necessary it was for us to water our plants every day and not waste water.

fun summer crayon craft for kids

 The different textures and colors were gorgeous. . .

fun summer crayon craft for kids

. . . and the super-fun part? The crayon melts worked–made coloring a bit more crazy!

If I could do it again—which I am sure we will—we’ll set up more of an experiment situation.  I’d love for the kids to see how the plastic wrap effects the melting as well as how where the tray is placed—driveway or grass—effects the melting.

Until then, we’ll do some serious coloring with our brand-new shape crayons!

Happy melting!  (And stay cool!)

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  1. We made crayons with an ice cube tray…. I am betting it was much easier to clean up your idea! I am going to have to remember that next year!

    Hope it’s cooled down your way now! (We had the 100′s here for a bit, but thankfully the temps have dropped…)

    Reply
    • Yes! Ice cube trays definitely work–we tried it last year with them but yes, clean-up was a bear! This way, there’s a little more excitement with everyone picking their own shapes. . . but any way is cool, really. Things have definitely cooled down a bit after the rain, but boy it makes me long for fall!

      Reply
  2. Love the ducky shaped crayon! The heat has been unbearable here as well…up until this week when all the rain we’ve been getting cooled things down a bit. We let the kids play in the rain Tuesday night. Pretty sure our kids thought we were the coolest parents ever. I know they will love this melty crayon activity and I think I will take your suggestion about making it an experiment.

    Reply
    Brandy
    11/07/2012
    • Thank you so much for reading, and huge thanks for writing, my amazing friend!! You are a rad mom for letting the kids play in the rain–I need to do that more often!! xoxo

      Reply
  3. I love this idea, Amy! I’ve seen tons of crayon melts ideas on Pinterest but this one seems to be the better idea for my little man. Definitely trying this one. Stay cool. ;-)
    -Ana xo

    Reply
    • Ana! Thank you so much for reading, and huge thanks for writing, my friend–I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your kind words!! Let me know how it goes for you!!

      Reply
  4. Love this! It almost makes me wish it would heat up again. We finally have a break in our weather. I won’t actually wish for the hot again but if it comes I will be ready with this fun activity!!

    Reply
    • thanks so much, Jackie!! I know–it ALMOST makes me want it to be hot again, but right now, the cooler weather is fab!! Thank you so much for reading, and huge thanks for writing!!

      Reply

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