Those nibs from worn-out crayons and broken crayon pieces do not have to be thrown away or clutter up the bottom of your child's crayon box. With the Crayola Crayon Maker they can be turned into something new. In essence, this toy lets children melt the wax from old and worn out crayons into new, usable crayons again. However, these new crayons are not your typical Brick Red, Blue Violet or Burnt Orange. Instead the old crayons are turned into unique, color-swirl crayons.
Using the Crayola Crayon Maker
Designed for ages eight and up, the product allows kids to simply add the broken crayons, melt them and pour them into the molds to set. You could do the same by melting leftover crayon pieces on the stove and pouring them into shaped candy molds, but the process would not be as safe or mess-free as with the official crayon maker. Once set, children can name their new crayon colors and use them for coloring in coloring books or creating their own drawings.
Once children have gathered crayons to melt down, it takes approximately 25 minutes to make four new crayons. While any crayons will work, Crayola recommends sticking with Crayola-brand for best results. The crayon maker also comes with eight starter crayons that can be broken up and melted into new ones.
Deciding What to Make
With the crayon maker, kids can make two different types of swirl crayons at once, one in each of the maker's two components. While the crayon pieces available may determine what kind of crayon to make, kids can also come up with their own recipes. The Crayola Crayon Maker website features recipes for making swirled crayons in colors such as Winter Glow (a mix of gold, dandelion and yellow orange) or Snowflakes at Night (a mix of blue, cornflower and silver).
Making the Crayons
To start the process, kids take their crayon bits and lay them end to end in the melt tray. It's important not to stack up the crayon pieces, or the trays may overflow.
Once the crayon pieces are in place, the next step is to turn the machine on and set the Pour Control knob to "Melting Position." Then start the timer. This locks the lid so that children do not get burned. Be sure not to start the timer before you are certain you are ready to begin. Once the timer is started, the machine will not unlock until it has cycled through the entire process.
When the wax is melted, it's time to turn the Pour Control knob to the left so the wax drips into the molds. Children can watch this happen by looking through the lid's clear plastic, but it's best if an adult takes care of the actual pouring.
When the wax is dry and solid, kids can open the lid and remove their new crayons. The lid will not unlock until the machine is cool and the trays are safe to touch.
The crayons come out ready for use, complete with a pointed tip. It's best to check that they are completely solid before pulling them out of the tray.
It's important to take some steps when using the Crayon Maker to ensure that the resulting crayons are of good quality.
- Fill the trays all the way so that there is enough wax to make complete crayons.
- Pour the wax slowly to ensure the crayons don't end up with air bubbles in them.
- Advise kids not to mix too many colors or the crayons may end up a mottled shade of brown or grey.
Using the New Crayons
Once their crayons are created, kids can use their new swirled crayons to create new art or color pictures with unique colors. While they may choose to color in a coloring book, a piece of plain white paper may make it easier to see the different colors in the new crayons. Children can also create their own paper wrappers and tape them onto the new crayons. They can even make a couple sets of new crayons, add decorated paper wrappers and tie them together with ribbon to give friends as birthday or Christmas gifts.