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Heat Wave Science Magic for Kids: Make Crayons

Are you and the kids melting under a summer heat wave? Harness the power of the sun and make crayons with this creative hot weather science experiment for kids! Set-up is a breeze, and there is little-to-no clean-up.

This is brilliantly fun science for a hot day! Turn old crayons into new ones in a DIY solar oven.

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This science experiment gets kids thinking about alternative energy sources. Make crayons in any shape you like – the options are endless! Silicone molds are wonderful for making shaped crayons using this method. Note that the silicone is insulated, so you may need hotter weather for it to work. A car dashboard is an easy way to create more heat!

Sun Upcycled Crayons: Hot Weather Science Magic for Kids

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.

Harness the power of the sun with these delightful sun upcycled crayons. Reduce, reuse, and recycle at home!

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 used Dixie cups for this experiment because that is what we had lying around, but there are many ways to get creative with this experiment! Silicone molds make it possible to create these crayons in virtually any shape imaginable. These LEGO molds are favorites with our kids! No heat wave? Follow these instructions for using silicone molds to make crayons in any weather!

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

Have you tried making sun upcycled crayons? How did it work for you?

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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

40 thoughts on “Heat Wave Science Magic for Kids: Make Crayons”

  1. 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 think it was around 33C when we did this. Maybe you’ll get that warm one day? I was surprised we got it to work with it only being that hot.

    2. Try it in your car or greenhouse on a really hot day. Probably wait till the 6 weeks holiday to try it though. Although I bet we will have a rubbish summer anyway!

    1. 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!

    1. I live in Alabama and it’s really hot here. I put mine in the car! They should be done in about 10 minutes…

      1. You have the perfect climate for crayon melting! One of my brothers baked cookies on his car’s dashboard one summer in Texas…

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

  3. 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 =-.

  4. 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 =)

  5. Jackie @ 3 Little Ones

    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 =-.

  6. 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 =-.

  7. 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 =-.

  8. 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!

  9. Elisa | blissfulE

    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 =-.

  10. 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 =-.

  11. 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 =-.

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