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Friday, February 11, 2011

St. Valentine's Day--Little Scribblers

So, St. Valentine's Day always gets my creative juices going since I need to come up with something for my kids to give away at school and I usually volunteer to send in a craft for the kids to do during their parties.

So, my criteria for both are: cheap, easy & fun (usually something that lasts and doesn't get thrown away the minute it arrives in the house).

One of my sons is giving away pencils with cute little bee toppers I picked up a few months ago at a discount store. We taped mini granola bars to them to make them "more." I think they are cute, but they weren't the first choice of the kids. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough supplies to make the "Little Scribblers" that the other son is taking to school to hand out. "Little Scribblers" are bits of old, broken crayons melted down in a muffin tin to create swirly, beautiful chunks of colored wax that children can scribble with.

I first made the "Little Scribblers" many years ago when my first son was about 2 years old. He was in the habit of peeling the paper off of his crayons and breaking them. Frustrating for mom! I felt as though he was wasting them, but then I found a recipe for "Scribble Cookies,"* as one author called them. I was able to repurpose the broken bits and made a batch of colorful crayon chunks for him to use.

I was reinspired by Family Fun Magazine, when I saw that they published a recipe just like it, and suggested making the cookies in heart shapes to give away for St. Valentine's Day. Ah-ha! I could do that! The kids were very excited and I started peeling, chopping and melting our old crayons.

But alas, the Scribblers take a good amount of old crayons so I only was able to make enough for one class (with a few to use at home).

"But wait," you say, this is a craft for a little kid--like a preschooler. "My children would never use this!!" I disagree. This craft is awesome on many levels.

First, it recycles something that everyone with children has a bucket of already in their homes.

Second, you can do this with your children. Anytime you can sneak some family time or one-on-one time into your life is a bonus. You can talk with your kids while they peel the crayons and my littlest boy (who is three), used a safety knife and his little hands to break the pieces of crayons up.

Third, it facilitates a discussion of colors. Warm colors, cool colors, colors that mix well and those that don't mix so well! As your children are plopping the crayon pices into the muffin tins, they are learnng about color theory. You could whip out a color wheel to show them if they are older.

Fourth, they are fun to use for little and big kids! While my 3yo just scribbles along all over the paper, my older kids use them to make multi-colored mohawks on the people they've drawn or make awesome sunsets on pictures (the scribblers are great to fill in large areas of drawings). They are also good to use when making rubbings. Children can study textures by placing different elements such as bubble wrap, leaves, coins, etc. under a white piece of paper and rubbing over the area with their Little Scribblers.

Wonderful! Something that looks beautiful (wait 'til you see how the Scribblers look when you pop them out of the pans with all of their swirly colors!), reuses something I was gonna throw out anyway, and inspires creativity!

Enjoy!
Mrs. P

Here's the link to the recipe on the Family Fun site:
http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/crayon-hearts-671639/?CMP=NLC-NL_FFUN_Crafts_021011_crayon-hearts

If the link above doesn't work, go to www.familyfun.com and search for "crayon hearts"

*I've looked around for the source of the Scribble Cookie recipe in my stacks of books, but I'm unable to find it at this time. I'll keep looking and credit the author when I find the info.

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