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Christmas Crayon Sun Catcher

Have a bunch of leftover crayons bits? Use them for this cool melting activity to create a string of gorgeous Christmas lights! This activity looks great in a bright window and allows children to see the melting action of crayons in real-time. Children will love to plan out their sun catchers and sprinkle the crayon shavings on the wax paper!

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Activity PDF

Don’t throw out those old crayons!

This is a great activity to teach children all about cause and effect and have them question how the crayons melted for this activity. Children will love the process of breaking apart the crayons, sharpening them to get little crayon shavings, and of course, watching the crayons melt on the wax paper!

🔥Opportunity ahead! Use this as a time to go over fire safety when using the iron for this activity! 

☀️ Heads up! Be mindful of blinds and curtains with this activity in a  sunny window. Sometimes the sun will re-melt the crayons and could cause a mess!

📄 Mess-free option: This is a great activity to do with tissue paper instead of crayons if you’re opting for a heat-free/mess-free activity!

Materials

For this activity you will need:

Red and green crayons

Black construction paper

Scissors

Wax paper

Iron

String

Clear tape

Pencil sharpener

Tea towel

Learning Outcomes

Domain

Cognitive

Skills

Questioning

Indicators:

Asking questions that can be answered through observation

Instructions

Step 1:

Start by having the children take the wrappers off the crayons. You can either break up the crayons into smaller bits to melt or have them use the pencil sharpener to create shavings.

Step 2:

Next, heat up your iron. This is a great chance to explain to kids about fire safety! Make sure the iron is used by an adult and out of reach for little ones!

Step 3:

Next, cut out the shape of a Christmas light (included in printable) onto your black construction paper. Cut out the inside of the shape so there is only a 1-2” border left. 

Step 4:

Measure out 2 pieces of wax paper that are slightly larger than your outline of the light. Stick the outline of the light onto 1 sheet of your wax paper using tape. Use it sparingly as it may melt once the heat is applied.

Step 5:

Have the children sprinkle the crayon bits and shavings into the middle of the light. Have them consider creating patterns, using white space, or filling it all up. It’s their work of art!

Step 6:

Next, take the other piece of wax paper and put it on top. No need to tape it down. 

Step 7:

Place your tea towel on top and slowly iron the Christmas light. Stop intermittently and take the towel off. Ask the children what they think is happening under the towel.

Step 8:

Once all of the crayon bits are melted, cut the excess wax paper out and string a few together. Hang in a sunny window and enjoy as the light shines through!

⬆️ For older preschoolers: Use hand over hand technique to get them to understand how hot tools work - a great learning and safety experience. 

⬇️ For younger toddlers: Small children will love to pick off the labels to prepare the crayons to be sharpened - a great way to develop fine motor muscles!

Playful Questions

What are some hot tools at home that adults use?

What would happen if we applied something cold instead of hot to our artwork?

What happened when we applied the heat to the crayons?

Why do you think the heat melted the crayons?

What else would melt if we applied heat to it?