This was such a fun project! I'm so excited to share how we made it work! I first shared the idea of using melted crayons to decorate a pumpkin about a week ago on Facebook, after I saw it on this blog. Several people were curious about the process, and my daughter was very excited to try it, so today I'm posting our tutorial. Try it out...I'd love to know how it goes!
* At least 6-8 crayons, not broken
* A hair dryer
* A white-ish pumpkin
* Paper towels
2- Prop the crayons up with tape around the pumpkin stalk. They tape isn't completely necessary, but it makes it a little easier. You will still need to hold the tops of the crayons so the hair dryer doesn't blow them over. Set everything up on paper towels.
3- Set the hair dryer on medium and aim it at the base of the crayons. After a few minutes, the crayons will be soft and bendy.
5- When the crayons begin to melt, gently press them into the pumpkin so they stay put. Then, turn the hair dryer on high and watch the magic! I thought this step was so cool that I'm including a short video so you can watch it.
We took the project one step farther and made individual melted crayon pumpkins on cardstock. We also used it as a science lesson to talk about melting, solids, and liquids. I'll share more on that in a moment.
First, though, a few cautionary notes:
1. Little fingers get tired. My children were all happy to peel one crayon each and then watch me either peel or "start" the other crayons for them.
2. Melting takes a long time. Our pumpkin took about 25 minutes before the crayons were melted enough. If you're doing this with young preschoolers, expect them to get bored, run away, and then come back when it gets more interesting.
3. I'm not sure how all the hot air affected the life of the pumpkin. Pumpkin is a squash and it does cook...that said, it seems fine today. I'm just not sure how long it will last.
4. Crayon wax can get hot fast. Hair dryers are hot too. Keep your fingers and your children's fingers safe.
5. The drips on the paper towels are fun too!
And now, the rest of the fun:
Discuss melting and compare the process to other things the children are familiar with, like ice and cheese.
Discuss solids and liquids and go on a treasure hunt to find more solids, liquids, or both.
Give your child a piece of cardstock with a pumpkin drawn on in permanent marker. Let your child color it in, and then choose 2-4 pieces of crayon to melt onto their pumpkin. Soften the crayon bits in a paper bowl, then press them onto the paper (so they don't roll away). Let your child use the hair dryer to melt the crayons one last time!
What do you think? I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to comment and/or upload pictures of your own pumpkin projects to my PreschoolPowolPackets Facebook page here!
Happy Educating, Carla
I may share at any of these parties!