If there’s one thing that needs improvement in my mommy-ing , it’s to enjoy doing crafts with the kids. As the kid’s homeschool teacher I do different crafts with them, but truth be told, I don’t enjoy it that much. In fact, if given a choice, I always pick the least messy craft. Doing crafts really brings joy to the kids, but I get frustrated with the mess. I mean, the house is messy enough without getting out the glue and the yarn, the paint and the play-doh, you know? I’ve needed help and there have been a couple of books that have been helpful:
- Global Art: Activities, Projects, and Inventions from Around the World. We’ve been using this as part of our curriculum this year. We’re currently studying Central America so I’ve been able to pick out different crafts from that region of the world.
- Green Crafts for Children. This one had a lot of basic ideas – lots of stuff that I’ve seen online. But it was inspiring enough for me to make pom poms with the boys and little cork animals. It’s a nice one for the kids to look through and pick an activity out of. My only complaint is that many of the crafts are aimed toward girls.
- Drawing With Children. While this may not be crafting necessarily, I had to mention this book. I love this approach to drawing. It’s concepts are simple enough for the kids to understand but foundational to drawing. Not being an artist myself, I’ve learned a lot using this book.
So let’s get on to the latest craft the boys and I did together. It wasn’t too messy and was lots of fun. Crayon cars.
Melting crayons certainly isn’t new, but when I saw this car cake pan ($22 at Target), I had to try this.
1. Peel the paper off of the crayons. Sitting around peeling the paper off of the crayons together was fun! A great fine motor activity that we all enjoyed. My sons are pickers like me. We sorted the colors so that the final cars would be different shades of the same color.
2. Break the crayons up. Snap, snap, snap! Break the longer pieces up. The boys loved this part.
3. VERY IMPORTANT STEP: spray your car shapes with cooking spray to help the cars come out of the pan easily.
4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Much hotter and your house will smell like wax for a few hours.
5. Fill the pans with crayon bits and pieces. Here they are ready to go in the oven.
10 minutes later:
10 more minutes:
See how they aren’t full?
6. Add more crayons if necessary and put them back in the oven for another 10.
7. Remove from oven and cool. They should pull away from the edge of the pan as they cool.
8. When completely cool, the cars should come out with just a little gentle encouragement.
In addition to using the crayon pieces we had around the house, I also purchased several boxes of 68 count Crayolas. 2 boxes ($5 total) made ~8 of the smaller-sized cars (we didn’t even try the bigger cars). Not the cheapest little crayon, but certainly doesn’t break the bank if you’re giving a little gift to a friend. I think we’ll be making some of these up for the boy’s buddies when we pass out Christmas cookies this year. And for the girls?
These little hearts were made using mini silicone hearts cupcake cups I purchased around Valentine’s Day.