Preschoolers tend to leave an abundance of broken crayons in their wake. They collect at the bottom of art supply buckets and church activity bags, continually passed over for their unbroken peers, until an adult throws them away.
But there is a better option! Put those broken pieces into the oven instead of the dumpster. The result: more crayons, less trash, and a kid-friendly activity.
Despite seeing multiple posts about melting crayons into bigger and better versions of themselves, I had not tried it myself until yesterday. My inner skeptic was convinced there had to be a catch - too messy, too time-consuming, too hard.
I am happy to report my inner skeptic was wrong. The hardest part is removing the paper wrappers. But even that becomes easy - almost theraputic - after the crayons soak in warm, soapy water for a few minutes. Once the crayon pieces are naked, just drop them into a silicone mold and put in a 250-300 degree oven until they melt. Let the mold cool on the counter (or in the freezer if you are impatient) until the wax hardens and then pop out your new and improved crayons.
My four-year olds helped me with every step of the process except using the oven. They loved picking which colors to combine. We used a heart mold that I already had this time but I have ordered an Easter egg one for our next batch. The options are truly endless!