Summer Science for Kids: Sun-upcycled crayons

crayon oven

I had this activity on our to-try list last year, but Massachusetts never got very hot. This summer has been plenty hot, so I thought we’d give it a try. We cut the tops off of some plastic cups, added pieces of crayons, put everything in some left over aluminum foil. We covered it with plastic wrap at the suggestion of my mechanical engineer brother, who happened to be visiting when I decided to try this.

I didn’t try it on the hottest day – temperatures were low nineties, and some of the crayons didn’t melt. I think they were from the cups that wound up partially in the shade, and I think they were also washable and twist-up crayon pieces, which may have affected our results.

upcycled crayons

We’ll probably try again on a hotter day, but these crayons work well, even in their imperfectly-melted state =)


  1. Jaimie says

    Great idea! I’ve been thinking of doing some more sun-powered activities, too.
    .-= Jaimie´s last blog ..The Tomorrows Outfit Clothesline- My New Trick for Avoiding Morning Drama =-.

  2. Susana says

    Yeah, 113 degree heat index here yesterday and today–we are doing this today! Again, awesome idea from you:-). Thank you!
    .-= Susana´s last blog ..How To Eat An Ice Cream Coneby Jack =-.

  3. says

    These are beautiful! I would frame them as works of art. But I guess they’ll be more useful in creating even more works of art!
    .-= Elisa | blissfulE´s last blog ..the pen-scoop method =-.

  4. says

    This is such a great way to show the power of sun – I wonder if the crayons would melt outside here. Gotta try it when hotter days return, but I am really enjoying cooler days at the moment :)
    .-= Natalie´s last blog ..Drive =-.

  5. Colleen says

    As hot as it’s been here, I do believe I’m going to try this. Have to get some dixie cups, but have everything else. Thanks for sharing, awesome!

  6. says

    I just saw a melted crayon in the parking lot at our local grocery store, and thought “Hmmm … fodder for a project?” and then forgot all about it! Thanks for the reminder!
    .-= Sadia´s last blog ..Pampering =-.

  7. Jackie @ 3 Little Ones says

    very cool idea :) we’ve done them in the oven before but this would be so much fun w/ the kids! thanks for the awesome idea!
    .-= Jackie @ 3 Little Ones´s last blog ..Tommee Tippee Explora Feeding Products Review =-.

  8. maryanne says

    My kids really enjoyed being able to fully participate this way, and if it gets hot enough it isn’t even that much slower than the oven =)

  9. says

    This is such a great idea! I wonder if using an old muffin tin would help — the metal might store the heat more efficiently!

    I’d love to post a link to this idea on my blog with your permission — I’ll send you an e-mail!
    .-= Dee´s last blog ..Making Friends Monday =-.

  10. maryanne says

    @Dee – I agree that an old muffin tin would work better. We didn’t have one and so substituted the cups.

    • maryanne says

      It’s so fun to see the power of the sun in action! I’m glad you love the idea, and thank you so much for sharing this post on your parenting page!

  11. Steph says

    Thinking it would work in the hot car out in the sun. Just don’t forget about them! Something to try out soon.

  12. says

    We just did this!!! Thank you for this fun little experimental crayon updo! I’m going to feature it/you on my blog, I’ll let you know when I do :) Michelle


  1. […] I love crafts with children and love them even more if they are easy and frugal.  This post by MaryAnne at Mama Smiles fits every requirement: Sun-upcycled Crayons […]

  2. […] I saw an awesome idea for homemade crayons on my friend Mary Anne’s blog I KNEW I had to make them for Jack!  The kids helped get some of our old crayons ready by peeling […]

  3. […] throw away those broken bits of crayons! Save them to make sun-upcycled crayons, by melting them into new crayons. You can also make these in the oven, but chances are you […]

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