Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Melty Crayon Skillet Art

I am sure I saw this activity somewhere on the web, and I should give proper credit, but I can't seem to find the original anywhere.  Suffice it to say, this is not my idea, but it is definitely worth sharing! 

Turn an electric skillet on its lowest setting (please read safety note!).  Lay a piece of computer paper in it.  Offer your child a selection of crayons with the paper peeled off (the fat crayons work best).  Explain that the pan is quite warm and should not be touched.  Then either let your child experiment with the crayons, or if she seems unsure, you can demonstrate pushing the end of a crayon onto the paper until it becomes soft.  The crayon will then slide in a delightful way, leaving a colorful trail behind.  

I tried this with children ages 3-5.  They seemed quite mesmerized, some of them drawing round after round of circles, and others making pools of color.  

If you come back to this activity a second time, try offering only a white crayon.  Tell your child that she won't be able to see her drawing right away, but you have a trick to make it appear.  When the drawing is cooled, offer water color paints.  When your child paints on the paper, the crayoned areas will remain white.  Older children might enjoy writing secret messages!

What are we learning?
Art, Physical Science (transformation, heat, melting)

Safety Note
Please do this activity with caution.  Even older children should have constant supervision when using a skillet.  Also, different skillets surely have different temperature settings.  Mine was cool enough that there was no chance of a burn unless a child held his hand on it for several seconds.  Test yours ahead of time. 


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