Monday, February 8, 2010

Toddler Crayons

If your toddler is anything like mine, you may have noticed that he/she loves to color!  Coloring helps toddlers develop their motor skills and also allows them to be creative.  However, one problem with coloring is that crayons are thin so toddlers have a hard time holding them.  Since they are thin they are easy to break.  A lot of toddlers spend more time breaking the crayons than actually coloring.  You might notice that some crayon companies are now making crayons for toddlers that are round and easy to hold such as the Washable TaDoodles Crayon Buddiesâ, which work really well for toddlers, however these are pretty expensive.  Here is a great way to use your old broken crayons and make your own toddler crayons. 

You will need:
Muffin Tin
Exacto Knife
Pre-heat your oven to 265 degrees F.  You can use crayons of any color or size.  If you don’t have a lot of old broken crayons you might be able to find some new crayons on a good sale at the store.  You first need to take the paper off of the crayons.  This is where the exacto knife comes in handy because you can just slice the paper and it should come off easily.  Make sure to be careful!  If you don’t have an exacto knife you can just peel the paper off.  Once the paper is peeled off all the crayons then you break them up into 1 to 1.5 inch pieces.  
Once you have removed the paper and broken up the crayons they are ready to go into the muffin tin.  A mini muffin tin works the best because it makes the crayons the perfect size for a toddler, however a regular sized muffin tin works as well.  Fill the muffin tin with the broken crayons.  You can either mix it up and put different color crayons in one slot (this makes crayons that are swirled with different colors) or you can put the same color in each slot.  If you are worried about your muffin tin you can use paper cupcake cups, however this will make your crayons have sharper ridges that you will want to smooth out.  I did this in my muffin tin and I didn't have any problems with the wax sticking to my pan.  

Once you have done this bake the crayons for 6-8 minutes.  You don’t want to over bake the crayons you just want them to melt enough so the crayon shape is gone.  The baking time might be different depending on your oven.  Let them sit on the counter until they congeal a little, then you can put them in the freezer to speed up the hardening process.  Once they have hardened they should pop right out of the muffin tin.

*Information and pictures came from http://craftydaisies.com/2007/07/26/crayon-nibbles/

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