Friday, June 14, 2013


Summer Fun For Preschoolers: Pizza Box Crayons

Today is the second week in the Summer Fun For Preschoolers series! Each Friday for the rest of the summer I will share a guest post with wonderful ideas of ways to intentionally spend time with your young children!  Click here for a list of all the weeks, and check out the contributors in the left hand sidebar!

Today I am happy to welcome Andrea from No Doubt Learning with a creative outdoor craft:

Pizza and crayons are probably not words you’ve heard in the same sentence.  Am I right?  Well, let’s change that.  If you have tons of broken or old crayons laying around and access to a pizza box, let’s put them to good use!  Let’s bake those crayons up in a pizza box solar oven!

If you’re working with preschoolers, or pressed for time, prepare for this scientific endeavor by creating a solar oven from a pizza box in advance. It’s much easier to have the ovens ready to go when you involve the kids in the fun.

If you’ve made it that far, you’re ready for action!

Collect all the broken crayons you have in the house and have a “peeling” party.  Encourage the whole family to participate in peeling crayons and your youngest members can begin to fill a silicon ice cube mold with the small crayons pieces.  (You can check out the Target dollar bins or the dollar store for silicone ice cube trays.)  The fuller each section is filled up, the stronger your crayons will hold up to your preschooler’s coloring.

When the kids have the trays filled up, they can set the tray inside the pizza box solar oven and close everything up.

Your children can help you to face the pizza box oven towards the face of the sun and can help make sure the lid is propped up so the sun’s reflection is shining directly on the trays. While the crayons are cooking, check periodically to ensure the reflection remains on the crayons to account for the Earth’s movement.  My kids LOVED checking on the crayons.  Ask them what they notice and you may hear that the crayons look “wet” or “shiny” as they are heating up.  Your children might squeal with delight when they see that the crayons are changing properties from solid to a liquid!

Feel free to make this even a little more scientific by having your children set a tray of crayons outside the solar box to use as a control.    Ask your child what they think will happen to each of the trays.
After a few hours, the crayons in the solar oven will be melted.  Pop them in the refrigerator for an hour or so.  Feel free to leave them on the counter, but it will take longer for the crayons to become solid.

When the crayons have solidified, press them out of the mold and distribute the new crayons to your children for lots of coloring fun!

For other ideas for fun in the sun, feel free to check my postings from last summer’s Solar Week!
Have you ever made anything in a pizza box solar oven?  Let me know what in the comments!

Andrea lives in California with her husband and two daughters. She left 11 years of public school teaching to homeschool and hasn’t looked back. Andrea loves reading, writing, and spending time outdoors.  Connect with her on at her blog No Doubt Learning, Facebook, G+, Twitter, or Pinterest.

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I may share at any of these parties!

8 comments: said...

Thanks for letting me guest post! This was a fun project to try out and write up! My girls loved helping! :)

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Thanks for sharing, Andrea! It looks like such a cool activity...and I'm sure it's hot enough outside here!

Six Sisters said...

Thanks so much for stopping by our Strut Your Stuff Saturday link party! -The Six Sisters

Janis Cox said...

What a great idea. Thanks for sharing this.
I found you on Hip Homeschool.

Beth Gorden said...

What a fun activity! I love that you used your outdoor oven for something non-food.

Thanks for linking up to TGIF! I hope you come by and link up later today =)

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Thanks for hosting, Six Sisters!

I'm so glad you came by, Janis!

Beth, thanks for stopping by and hosting!

Janine LaTulippe said...

That is a very cool summer science experiment! Who wants to turn on the oven in the summer? It is great that you can do it outside. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

Home Is Where They Send Us said...

Great post! We actually just did s'mores a couple weeks ago in the solar oven and I did crayons too. Looks like your crayons turned out much better than ours....I would have called ours a fail but I've opted for not using that word. It did work....but it took hours upon hours in the hot Texas sun! The smores worked great though!