Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sick Day Fun

I live in the midwest, and this year, Mother Nature has pretty much rained on us five out of seven days a week for months. And the sunny days are always mid-week when I'm working. In fact, this was the first week we didn't have to wonder if our son was going to get to play his baseball game. At the end of the game (1.5 hours of 3 to 6 year olds playing baseball - oy!) our daughter, who is 2, started acting really out of it. I mean, scarily. She had been eating, drinking, playing, then all of a sudden she was just lethargic. We darted home, got her in a lukewarm bath, called the doc, put her in an air conditioned room, got her temp down. Thought it was heat stroke. Until this a.m. when our son woke up with a 103 fever, too.  (P.S. our daughter's temp came down, thankfully!)

And both days were gloriously sunny. So, after being trapped in the house all day yesterday worrying about our baby girl, we were all a little stir-crazy today knowing we'd be in the house all day again on such a nice day. With a little medicine and lots of popsicles, you wouldn't even know they were sick except for the fevers.

I decided a little fun experiment would make the day a little more lively for us, so I got out the tub of old, broken crayons I've kept. We go through a lot of crayons, lol! I decided to make some new, multi-colored crayons for the kiddos.

**Note before you start: Be careful not to try and speed the process. I did this one on purpose to show what will happen - your crayons will not melt enough to seal together, or if you get water in they won't bind.

You need:
  • your broken crayons
  • tealight candles (in a holder - I got a pack of like 20 from the dollar tree, and they are perfect)
  • an old pan
  • a small tray of some sort

Pry the tealight candles out of their thin metal holders (they normally pop right out).

You want to put a little water in the bottom of your pan (about 1/4 inch or so) and put it on the stove til it is really hot. You don't want the water boiling though, so make sure once it starts to boil you turn it down til it settles.

Take out your crayons, unwrap the paper from them, and use a butter knife or scissors to chop them into pieces. The sizes don't matter - some can be bigger chunks, some smaller. Put the chunks into the holders.

Place the holders with the chunks into the pan with the hot water. Keep adding chunks as they melt, but don't stir them (otherwise you'll get a big brown crayon every time). This is when you'll want to add in some shavings, to fill in the top layer. I just use the butter knife to shave some shavings from different colors, and sprinkle it on top of the mix.

You can put a lid on if you want, but make sure the temp is somewhat low. You need to let them "cook" for probably about 20 minutes, maybe more, as they melt. The shavings will help the chunks of crayon mold into place and stay together.

Now, fill the tray (I used a meatloaf pan) with about 1/4 inch of cold water. once your crayons are melted, take them out carefully (with tongs or a spatula) and slide them into the cold water. Once all of my little tins are in there, I normally add ice to speed the cooling process. If you do this, in about 10 minutes your crayons are ready to go.

Use old pans if possible, because you WILL get melted crayon on them (unless you are superwoman. If so, I want your tips!)

Lastly, let the kids color with new rainbow crayons that cost you a dollar at most ;)  The great part is you can use those metal tins over and over again, they are GREAT. I just let them dry, throw them in a ziplock and tuck them away with the broken crayons for the next time we want to make some ;)

see? spillage all the time ;)

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