How to up-cycle crayons: free & simple activity to do with kids

what do people do with old crayons

Do you have a bunch of old broken crayons? Would you like to give them a new use? This simple activity is both free and easy on the environment. I will teach you how to upcycle crayons as a free and simple activity to do with kids.

What do people do with old crayons?

I dreamed up melting our crayons down one morning during our Table Time (aka school work at home) when I looked at our Crayola pail brimming with crayons in various states of repair. They would have to dig and dig to find the color they needed or one that was large enough to even use. Sad.

I told them my idea and they asked about it every five minutes for the next complete day until the time to do it the next day. Pro Tip: if your kids are the kind like to ask how many seconds until they turn 8, for example, then wait to tell them about an epic activity just like this one until the last possible moment. All that to say, they were excited!

People have been doing this for decades!

When I say I dreamed it up, I mean, I remembered this classic activity from when my mom did it when I was a kid? And now I am reminding you!

My mom would use candy molds in fun shapes like teddy bears or balloons. For this post, I used cubes, but get creative!

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Benefits of this activity

It is frugal and no-waste!. Ad you up-cycle old crayons, you a giving then fun new life instead of sending them to the landfill. Win-win!

Get creative with the shapes. You can choose a mold that reflects your child’s interest. They could even be an eco-friendly, fun party favor!

It can be a fine motor activity. My Littles love peeling the paper off, so get those tiny hands involved to grow hand strength and agility (pre-writing skills!).

If you chose to sort the crayons into color families, it can help children will color recognition, sorting, and categorizing – all fantastic skills for tiny growing brains for early childhood enrichment. We grouped by color families, but a mixed block to use can be so fun for little minds to create within coloring!

Regular crayons are small for little hands. The final products – larger shapes are so nice for little (or bigger) hands to grasp and use.

Save to Pinterest for later!

what do people do with old crayons

How To Up-cycle Used Crayons

1. Choose a mold

Chose a container in which to melt the crayons like a muffin tin or mini muffin tin. We used a silicone ice cube tray. A candy or soap mold would work, too.

2. Sort (or not)

Sort Crayons into color families like Blues, Pink, Oranges, Greens, for example. Or you can mix random colors. It is completely up to you.

3. Peel

Peel the papers from the crayons. (Great fine motor activity for supervised Littles!)

4. Break

As needed, break the crayons to fit into the container. (Our [supervised] preschooler used his wire cutters and hammer from his real toolbox for added enjoyment).

5. Melt

Microwave method:

Place crayons in a microwavable container. Cook on high in 1-2 minute increments until crayons are melted. We used a silicone ice cube tray like this one.

Oven method:

Place crayons in an oven-safe container such as a muffin tin or mini muffin tin. Cook at 200 degrees for 5-minute increments until melted.

6. Cool and enjoy

Allow the crayon shapes to cool completely and enjoy!


Now you know how to up-cycle crayons as a free and simple activity to do with kids. If you have a bunch of old broken crayons, give them a new use. This simple activity is both free and easy on the environment.

Any other ideas as an up-cycle crayon activity? What do people do with old crayons? Any other ways to use old crayons? Share your best frugal, free, and easy activity ideas below!

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