Hot Rock Melted Crayon Art

melted crayon on rocks art project for kids

I have wanted to do this melted crayon art project for ages. I did these decades ago in a day camp but never felt my kids were ready for this activity until now.  This is not something I would try in a busy class because you need to be able to really watch the kids 100% of the time. I changed a few things from how I did it years ago to make it a little safer for my kids as well. The first one was to place the rocks in individual bowls. The bowls were safe to touch to move the rock and stopped my kids from reaching for the rock to move it. I also didn’t peel all the paper off the crayons so that there was a “safe section” to hold onto and if they got down to that part they knew to switch and get a new crayon.

This was a very fun and dynamic art activity and I hope that even if your kids aren’t ready to try it yet that you will save it for when they are!

 

Gather your materials. You will need some medium sized rocks, foil, crayons, a cookie sheet, oven, and as many little bowls as you have rocks. I also lined our work area with an old tablecloth and more foil.

crayon melting art

Start by washing your rocks and warming your oven to 250. I popped the rocks on a cookie sheet lined with foil and into the oven right away not waiting for the oven to get to full temp.

hot rock and crayon experiment

While they were in the oven I lined the bowls with foil. I also placed an old tablecloth and foil under our work area.

hot rocks summer art project for kids

I also peeled most of the paper off a bunch of crayons. Leaving a handle on each. This was the safe spot for the kids to handle the crayon.

hot rocks crayon art

Once the buzzer on my oven indicated that the temp was reached I took the rocks out. They are HOT mine didn’t get hot enough to burn but I can’t guarantee yours won’t, PLEASE DO NOT LET KIDS HANDLE THEM EVEN WITH OVEN MITTS. Have an adult wearing oven mitts place them in the bowls. Wait until you are certain that the rocks will feel very warm but NOT burn before you invite the kids to come create. Test EVERY rock not just one, they may heat unevenly.

hot rocks art project for summer camp

Start creating. They were both amazed at how quickly they melted. melted crayon on hot rocks activity for kids

They LOVED it and they were very careful too. melted crayon art for kidsI was worried I wouldn’t be able to get photos – and I didn’t get as many as usual but they were so conscientious about the safety and rules I had laid out for them. If only this ability extended to water flights in the yard… crayon art with hot rocks for kids

The colors mixed and twirled together and were so shiny! melted crayon activity craft for kids

Let them cool completely. We placed ours in our garden for decoration. hot crayon rock craft

 

 

 

Kids Activities Linky

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I am back from vacation and drowning in laundry and the final steps of a home renovation- in other words I have been crazy busy and am falling behind on my blog reading! Show me what you have been up to by linking a couple of your best kids activities and share them with my readers as well!

I have some really fun posts coming up this week and can’t wait to share – but today is all about you!



75+ Things To Add To Playdough To Make It More Fun

75 playdough add onsOther than reading the one activity that we do daily here at our house is playdough. We have a playdough bucket in our playroom and a drawer in the kitchen filled with playdough and all sorts of fun add ons. Here are our favorite things to add to playdough. You don’t need fancy activities you just need to put out playdough and a few fun add-ons and let creativity blossom.

rainbow playdough color sort and match

  • buttons
  • googly eyes
  • glow in the dark stars
  • sequins
  • plastic gems

playdough-with-soldiers-

  • plastic soldiers
  • wooden beads
  • toy dinosaurs
  • aluminum foil
  • Lincoln Logs
  • glass decorator beads
  • plastic beads

playdough bug fossils

  • toy bugs
  • stones
  • ice cream cones
  • dry pasta
  • Mini Figures

playdough letters 3

  • toothpicks
  • popscicle sticks
  • straws
  • glow sticks
  • feathers

fine motor skills

  • beans
  • toilet paper rolls
  • pipe cleaners
  • recycled plastic lids
  • alphabet magnets
  • puzzle pieces
  • marbles
  • wooden blocks
  • pom poms

theme playdough

  • toy construction vehicles
  • nuts and bolts
  • real nuts in the shell ( please make certain all children are free of allergies)
  • fake flowers
  • golf tees
  • keys
  • Little People Dolls
  • corks
  • Lego or Duplo
  • birthday candles

 snow playdough

making letters with shells and playdough

Tools

pretend play playdough

  • rolling pin
  • ice tray
  • candy molds
  • stamps

playdough activity for kids

  • cookie cutters
  • plastic knives
  • spatula
  • toy tools
  • ice cream scoop
  • potato mashers

playdough playmats silly hair

  • garlic press
  • cake pans
  • muffin tins
  • garden tools ( kid plastic ones)
  • forks
  • combs
  • melon baler

playdough activities for kids by no time for flash cards 4

  • tongs
  • pie plate
  • pastry edger
  • mixing bowls

playdough egg mold

  • egg molds
  • dull( kid) pizza wheel
  • measuring cups
  • cookie sheet
  • scissors

 

What do you add to playdough to make it more fun?

 

 

 

Benefits Of Board Games & 5 Great Games For Young Families

board games for preschool Every year we leave our yellow farm-ish house and get on the road to Oregon and go to the beach. While we are at the beach house board games are king! I think I have played 43 games of Candy Land so far and by the time this post is published it will be well past 60.

Board games are packed with lessons and the best part is that they don’t feel like they are so children who resist learning for learning’s sake are less likely to resist and jump in.They give families a chance to play together and for children to test the waters of competition in a safe place. They offer parents a chance to model losing gracefully which is not a skill children are naturally born with. I know that my son especially has been working on this for ages. Some intense children need more time and practice and even though at times the urge to pack up the game and scold them for being a poor sport may trump teaching them anything I encourage you to keep at it. Intense children take board games seriously and in my experience calm modeling goes further than it feels like and will pay off with persistence.

What children are learning while they play depends on the game but some more general skills and benefits of board games include  :

  • Taking turns.
  • Language development. The repetition in games offers parents many options to model proper pronunciation and for children to practice.
  • Developing fine motor  and hand eye coordination skills while moving small pieces.
  • Counting is part of most games.
  • Following a static set of directions – the rules don’t change.
  • Controlling emotions.
  • Connecting with those they play with.

Here are 10 of our favorite games with the main skills children learn while playing. The games are linked to amazon.com with affiliate links. The ages are the ages in which my children have really loved these games.

gamesforkids2

Cookin’ Cookies Card Game Was the very first game we played as a family. The object of the game is to gather the ingredients you need to make your cookie recipe while avoiding the dreaded rotten eggs. This game works on hand eye coordination as players have to slap the card they want with their spoon. It also works on matching the cards to the images on the recipe which is an early literacy skill that evolves from matching images to letters and then eventually words. My kids both love this game.  3+

gamesforkids4

Battleship  is a great game for school age children and requires players use reason and logic to play. Younger children can make wild guesses but I suggest you play with your child a few times explaining why you make the choices explaining the logic and strategy behind your decisions. It also exposes kids to grids and coordinates.  5+

gamesforkids1

Connect 4  is a favorite of mine and I like to adapt it ( for spelling here) but just as it is this game teaches patterning and forces players to think strategically looking at all their and well as their opponents possible moves. I love watching children stare at the game you can see their wheels turning! 4+

gamesforkids3

Candy Land is the perfect preschool game. It teaches color recognition but my favorite thing about it is that it helps teach children that there are blocks in the road sometimes. When a player is sent back that gives you and your child a great ( and not really painful) way to address being disappointed. I know it sounds funny to hear someone say ” Practice losing” but this game is a kind way to work on that. I also like to switch up the language used for the colors calling out ” Rojo” or ” Jaune” etc… to mix it up!  3+

gamecup

eeboo The Cupcake Game is another baking themed game where players are trying to gather all the ingredients required for making their specific flavor of cupcake. I adore this game because it’s so pretty! What I like about this one is that all the pieces aren’t identical and it requires that children think about which pieces fit!  The box says ages 5+ but my daughter played this easily at 3.

 

 

Super Simple Letter Sounds Matching

letter sounds hands on activity You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when you are working on early literacy skills ( or any other type of skill) with your kids. You can make simple activities like this letter sounds matching and fit them in between coming inside from playing and sitting down for lunch. These are little snippets of important learning that add up but don’t overwhelm. In a classroom I would have this as an option in a center and encourage but never force children to try it. Start with only a few sounds and as your child masters matching them add some more. I always have a few “safe” options. These are sounds you know your child knows and will work to boost confidence and add some definite success to an otherwise challenging endeavor.

My daughter cracked me up with this activity… you’ll see why. When children go off book like she did run with it if you can.

Gather your materials. You will need some thick paper ( but a chalk board, white board, or even a recycled cereal box would do), a marker, and some recognizable animal toys. easy letter sound activity for preK

Start by gathering the toys and writing out the letter that corresponds with the first sound in the word.  That’s it for set up. Pretty simple eh? I did two sheets one with upper and one with lowercase letters. You can also mix up the letters all on one page. Once children are at this point of matching sounds they need to be focusing a lot of attention on lowercase letters. I let my daughter decide which sheet she started with. letter sound match with toys

Add your letter sound detective ( that’s what she called herself) and explain that all the animals are looking for their place on the paper. letter sound matching game for early literacy developmentThey belong on the letter that says the same sound as the first sound in their name.  We did one together and she was off on her own. The only thing that made her pause was the walrus. ” Is this a seal or a walrus?” letter sound activity for children

Since she flew through it I gave her the second sheet. Then our babysitter arrived and my sweet and sassy little one turned on the performance. For the 2nd round of matching she decided to name the animals with first names and at first I was trying to get her back on track until I realized the names she was creating matched the letters on the page. Whoa!! She wasn’t just matching anymore now she was creating and being really funny so our giggles fueled her even more. letter sound activity for children matching game

Awesome learning from an activity that took all of 2 minutes to set up.

Here are more than 50 more simple letter ideas for kids.

50 awesome alphabet activities