Sunday, July 24, 2011

Uncle Chris is the Best Ever

 Uncle Chris got Flannery a Crayon Maker for Christmas last year, and we got it out the other day when we needed something creative to do.

First, the girls broke crayons into tiny pieces.  Then, we placed them in a melting tray on the little Crayon Maker.  A little light bulb heated the crayon bits, and then once they were melted, I poured the wax into the crayon molds to cool.  It took about 30 minutes to make each set of crayons, and we really enjoyed it!  The crayons we created color in rainbow streaks, which was neat.

We had used the Crayon Maker at Christmas, and when I pulled it out of the box, I noticed that "someone" had scraped "Uncle Chris is the best ever!!" in the waxy layer of melted crayons that remained in the melting tray.  That Uncle Chris is a character.

This little activity could be done without a Crayon Maker, too.  You could just put some tiny crayon bits into a muffin pan and heat it slowly in the oven until the wax melts completely, then pull it out of the oven and let the wax cool.  You'd have some neat round flat crayons that could be fun, as well.

My favorite thing about the Crayon Maker was that it was a very natural way to introduce some science vocabulary to the girls.  We talked about states of matter---solids, liquids, melting, heating, cooling, and that the light bulb was the heat source.  By the time we made two batches of crayons, the girls were pointing out when the crayon bits shifted from solid to liquid and then when they cooled back into solids.   Pretty exciting stuff!

The End Product

What science words do you try to work into your day to teach the kids in your life?  I use the word "hypothesis" any time we're trying to guess something, and Flanna has really gotten the hang of using that one!

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