Leaf-Shaped Crayons

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Back-to-school plus a drop in the temperature around here has us thinking about all things fall, even though it’s not quite autumn yet. Making leaf-shaped crayons was the perfect way to kick off the season!

First, we dumped out all of our crayons and I asked Travis to help me select the ones in fall colors – browns, oranges, yellows, and reds. This was a nice reminder for him of the upcoming season and what we can expect to see on the trees.

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Grown-up step: peel the paper from the crayons. (Note: making a slit with an X-acto knife first helps).

Travis was a big fan of helping to snap the crayons into small pieces!

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We filled a leaf-shaped silicone mold (available at craft stores or Amazon) with the small pieces.

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Place in the oven at 300 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until the crayons are completely melted. It will help to place your silicone mold in a larger baking dish, so you can easily remove from the oven.

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Let cool completely, then pop the crayons from the mold and get drawing!

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Coffee Can Drums

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The spin drum we made the other day was such a big hit (pun intended!) that we continued the musical fun with this easy upcycled drum. It’s similar to the oatmeal- and soup-can drums we made about a year ago, but you can never have too many drums in your home collection.

Trim construction paper or craft paper to fit around an empty coffee canister, leaving it about an inch longer than the can at the bottom.

For decoration, we worked in some fine motor skills practice! Give your child any small circular object and have them trace it on the paper.

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While Travis turned his attention to other toys, I hot-glued the construction paper to our can, folding over and gluing the excess paper on the bottom.

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Then we continued the tracing, this time making the circles on a strip of colored duct tape.

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Cut out the tape circles (another grown-up step; cutting duct tape is a sticky affair), then give them to your child and let them line up the sticky circles with the ones on the paper. Travis enjoyed this part!

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For the head of the drum, I snipped the narrow end off of a balloon, and stretched over the can. “Mom, you’re not very good at this,” Travis accused. Phew, got it on the third try! Secure the balloon with another piece of colored duct tape.

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We threaded some ribbon around our drum as the final decorative touch. I also hot-glued pom poms onto the ends of unsharpened pencils to be the drumsticks, although this would have worked better if I had had larger pom poms in our craft bin!

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My happy drummer boy!