Here’s an easy, simple, and inexpensive activity you can do with your keiki: recycled rayons! Made with crayon bits and pieces, which many of us have lying around our hale, keiki of all different ages can be a part of this activity. Bonus: the ingredient list is minimal and you can spend a whole afternoon as an ‘ohana doing this or complete the process within a couple of hours. Tips and tricks are listed below.
- Crayons in assorted colors, papers removed
- Silicone baking molds or metal tins (cupcake or donut shape)
- Baking sheet
- Prepare your silicone baking molds by setting them on a baking sheet to hold them in place. There are so many fun and creative silicone molds to choose from, like letters or shapes!
- Gather all your old and broken crayon pieces and remove the paper. If the paper is stubborn to come off, soak the crayons in a bowl of hot, soapy water for 10 minutes. (*Adults need to help keiki with this step to prevent burns.) Now, the paper should more easily slide off. Rinse the soap off the crayons with cool water and pat dry.
- Now that crayons are free of paper, break them by hand into smaller pieces and place them in baking molds. Try alternating colors that contrast, or use all warm colors (red, orange, yellow) or cool colors (green, blue, purple) together. Have fun with this step! Let your keiki take the lead. Now is the time to explore color combinations and get creative.
- Once your molds are filled, preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
- Bake your trays at 275 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until all the crayons are melted.
- Carefully remove hot trays from the oven (with the help of an adult and oven mitts) and set them on the counter to cool for 6-8 hours or overnight. Shortcut: Bring the trays to room temperature by allowing them to cool on the counter for 30 minutes, then transfer the trays to the freezer for another 30-40 minutes.
- Once the crayons are cooled, set, and solid, remove them from the molds. Note: if you’re having trouble removing crayons from metal tins, place them in the freezer for 10 minutes. They should pop right out. Enjoy!
These recycled crayons make great gifts for ‘ohana and friends and are also a wonderful addition to any family outing where you might spend extra time in the car or on an airplane. Pack a pad of paper and you’re all set for colorful fun!
Maile Crewdson is a local mom of three young keiki with life-threatening food allergies. Born and raised in upcountry Maui, Maile embraces motherhood wholeheartedly, in its beauty and challenges. Find her online at @littlemauifamily and @cyrusbakingco.