Yesterday I decided the kids and I were going to do a craft together. This is not my natural instinct so it takes some work and a mental pep talk to get me started. I decided to go with something easy, melted crayons.
You know what I’m talking about. Take broken or small crayons, unwrap them, melt and pour into molds so you have rainbow crayons.
Okay, so I told the kids we were going to do a craft. They were on board so we went to the next step.
“Can you guys get me all your broken crayons?” I said to them.
“Where are the broken crayons?” was their first question.
“Well, where do you keep your crayons and we’ll look for some.” I was still patient and excited about being crafty.
As both kids shrugged their shoulders, however, I began to feel something stirring inside me.
“Okay, let’s go look for your crayons.”
Sure enough, the crayons were in the blue case in which they always reside, mostly unused due to the fact that both of them have preffered markers since they could hold them in their tiny fists.
Even with this marker preference, we managed to find enough broken crayons to start our small project.
As soon as we had picked through the box pretty thoroughly, I said we now needed to go downstairs.
“What do we need to look for downstairs?” Apparently we had begun a scavenger hunt with the crayon search.
“That’s where we are going to do our craft.” I responded calmly.
So, we all headed downstairs with fists full of crayon pieces.
Once downstairs I proceeded to lay out the materials we would need, small pot and molds.
“Are we making cupcakes, I really like cupcakes.” The too-eager look on my daughter’s face was a little frightening.
I had pulled out mini muffin pans to use as molds and my daughter had already forgotten about our crayon project in anticipation of this new cupcake project.
“Sorry, we aren’t making cupcakes today, sweetie. These are for the crayons.” The look on her face almost crushed the project, however I was determined to be crafty with the kids.
So, I went on to explain that we were going to peel the paper off the broken pieces, melt them together and then make new colorful crayons.
“Why?” Was my son’s simple response to what I thought had been a very thorough explanation.
“Well, they will be multi colored instead of just one color.”
“Oh, like the colored pencil with have that has five colors in one,” was his response.
“Something like that…” I managed to reply through gritted teeth.
“Okay, that sounds fun.” And we were back on track.
For a few minutes we peeled crayon wrappers in blessed silence. Until I got it in my head to make it an educational moment.
I began to explain that crayons were made out of wax,
“What’s wax?” asked my youngest.
So, I began to describe wax to her, the different kinds of wax and where they come from. Seeing the glazed look on her face and afraid she might walk off at any moment I searched my mind for a tangible example,
“Ah, you remember seeing the beehive at the Butterfly Pavilion?” Nods all around, I had their attention again.
With wax talk behind us we were finally ready to melt the crayons. I had them throw the pieces into the pot, ‘getting kids involved in every step makes them more interested in the project,’ is what I have heard.
While we waited for the pieces to melt completely my daughter wandered off and my son grabbed a stool to look into the pot while everything melted. He seemed to be enjoying the view so next time I boil water I’ll have him take a peek.
Finally, the crayons looked like a lovely blending of color, swirls and whorls of greens, blues, reds and some sunbursts of yellow. I was proud.
I called my daughter back,
“Why?” was her immediate response.
I had no more patience, I just told her to get over and watch.
With obvious reluctance she wandered over and watched as I poured our crayon mixture into the muffin tin.
I was happy to be done and feeling accomplished until my son blurted,
“Mom, they’re all kind of a dark brown color.”
And that is why I don’t do crafts with my kids. Let someone else deal with their questions and insouciance.