Over the years I have made a lot of melted crayons from Frozen themed ones to vehicle crayons, crayons melted in the sun, to crayon snowmen for gifts but I think these recycled crayon gems might be my favorite because their shape and size are PERFECT for preschoolers. These make your own crayons are thick and don’t break easily, and the pan is easy to find and clean. These crayons are also easy for toddlers to hold and color with. My students LOVED them. I know that since I first posted a tutorial about how to make recycled crayons in 2008 ( seriously you need to see this post and how little my son who is now my height was!) they have become so popular and many of you know how to make them. I still wanted to share some of the materials I create for my students and how to use them in your preschool classroom or at home with your kids.
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How To Make Crayon Gems
Gather your materials. You will need some crayons, a cutting board, a sharp knife if you are doing this solo, the gem candy mold, and a cookie sheet.
Set your oven to 300.
Start by taking the paper off your crayons. If you are doing this with help from a bunch of little hands, have them peel the paper off, it’s fun and great fie motor work. My kids ( the ones I gave birth to, not my students) are older and so so over peeling papers off crayons so I used my adult method.
The adult method is to use a knife and make a cut lengthwise along the crayon. Peel off, and you are done. This is fast but tricky so be careful.
Break the crayons and place them in the mold. I think I put about 2 crayons worth of broken pieces in each gem. I mixed up colors too.
Place the mold on a cookie sheet and pop it in the oven. This is about half way. I don’t tell you an exact baking time because it’s best to watch carefully, this minimizes the fumes.
All melted. Remove from the oven and let cool. I let mine cool for an hour maybe a little more. I also ate two pumpkin muffins while I waited…
Pop the recycled crayon gems out and color!
My students LOVED these recycled crayon gems. Check out a picture from my class on Instagram. The crayon gems were easy for them to hold, and the bright colors were fun to create with.
The thing about teaching preschool is so much of it is setting the right buffet of options that will entice your students to use the materials, play, and develop new skills. Writing, drawing, and coloring are all important for literacy, but we don’t have to force kids to do these things before they are ready. We simply have to create an enticing buffet that makes them want to explore with new tools and materials and work on those skills naturally.
Don’t forget you can get the gem candy mold here.
For more fun writing activities check out this fun list!