Crayon recycling is a fun project for ages 4 and older to help reuse all the mixed crayon nubs you might have laying around. Below is a step-by-step guide of my favorite method to do with my boys. If you don’t have enough pieces to complete the project now, consider creating a special bin to start your collection.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
Look throughout your home for the following materials and gather them in one place.
- Crayon Pieces
- Microwavable Container
- Cutting Board
- Stir Stick
- Silicone Mold
Step 2: Prep the Crayons
Peel any wrappers off the crayons (kid job), sort them into your favorite color combinations (kid job), and chop them into bits (grown-up job).
Add the pieces to a heatproof container for the microwave. I love using a small pyrex measuring cup for this step, but anything you can put in the microwave will work. I ended up with about 1/4 cup of chopped crayons
Step 3: Heat Crayons
Microwave on your measuring cup on high in 30 second increments; stirring between each time. In all, it took me about two minutes to fully melt 1/4 cup of crayon bits, but every microwave is different. Be careful in between heating cycles as the container can get hot!
Step 4: Create Crayon Molds
Quickly pour the melted crayon mixture into the mold and place it in the freezer to speed up the hardening process. The faster you are able to work on this step the better. The crayons begin to cool rapidly after you pour them. Also, I like to spray my molds with cooking oil to keep the crayons from straining and to make molding a breeze, but the oil can definitely be skipped.
Step 5: Unmold and color your heart out!
Experiment and have fun with your color combinations and crayon shapes. You can also take the time you are peeling the paper off crayons to talk about diverting waste from the landfill, using heat to change the state of matter from a solid to a liquid, or simply finding out what’s on their mind lately. What are some other ways you recycle materials in your home? Let us know in the comments below!