Get an old cheese grater (it’s a pain to clean wax, so use one you can devote to the arts) and let your little ones help you grate up those crayon cast-offs into a colorful assortment of shavings. (While you’re doing this, warm up your iron on a medium setting.) Next, fold a piece of wax paper in half, and have the children arrange the shavings inside the “paper sandwich”. Place the paper sandwich into an art towel sandwich (one on the bottom to protect your surface from wax leaks and heat, and a thin one on top to protect your iron from the same). Depending upon the age and maturity of your children, you may point out that they may hold the handle of the iron with you while you rub it across the towel covered wax paper, or, if that’s too risky, just put them in charge of counting. (Your total counting time will depend on the thickness of your top towel, but start with say 10-15 seconds.) Check to see if the wax has been satisfactorily melted. Add more time if needed.
Once it has, you can enjoy the creation as it is, or tape it behind a black picture cutout frame. If you are lucky enough to have access to a die-cut machine, use that. I’m not so lucky, so I took an outline of a dinosaur, placed it on top of the black paper, and then traced the outline with a razor blade. (You can get through at least 2 or 3 sheets at once that way.) We were doing dinosaurs, so that’s the outline shown here, but you could have lots of fun with hearts, flowers, butterflies, ABCs, you name it! With the dinosaurs, it’s fun to talk about the fact that no one has actually seen a dinosaur, so we don’t know for certain what colors they might have been!
This is a fun creative activity, though it also builds motor skills as the children help shave the crayons and sprinkle them on the paper. Additionally, it provides a science activity as the wax is changed by heat.