Ah, Summer... time at the beach, time at the pool, and the kids are home from school. It seems awesome until you've run out of things for your mini me's to do and they start repeating the words every parent dreads: "I'M BORED." What if I told you there's a way to combat boredom AND get rid of the eighteen pounds of broken crayons your kids brought home when classes were over this year? 

Making Muffin Tin Crayons is fast, easy, and FUN. We used to make them all the time when I was a kid--we were on a shoestring budget, and Mom stretched every penny by re-using our broken crayons and crayon stubs. My daughter LOVES coloring but despite being a toddler she somehow manages to have superhuman strength--the latest box of crayons purchased for her were HULK SMASHED into bits.

Also, she tried to eat one.

Anyway, I had a buttload of broken crayons and decided to bust out Mom's tried-and-true muffin tin trick. I'll describe the process step-by-step, and I'll have a simple "recipe" at the end of this post in case you're in a hurry or have screaming, whining kids on your hands and need to appease them ASAP because I'm awesome like that.

I start by preheating my oven to 275 degrees. I lightly oil the cups of a mini-muffin tin. Then I start peeling the labels off the crayons. My one-year-old lacks the fine motor skills to accomplish this task, but older kids can help with this (and any other) step.

One the crayons are label-free, I break them into pieces. Some were already small enough, but others needed to be broken down to size. Stubborn crayons can be chopped with a chef's knife, which is a step just for moms and dads because OBVS.

Take your crayon bits and place them in the cups of the muffin tin. Let your kids go crazy here--they can use their imagination to create awesome color combos. You can always make single color crayons, but the marble or tie-dye effect you can create with these bad boys is a def WOW factor for bored kids.

Put your tin in the oven and "bake" your crayons for about 10-15 minutes---just until they've all melted down. Once you remove them from the oven, place them on a heat-resistant surface to cool for 30 minutes. While they cool, you can use forks or bamboo skewers to "stir" the liquefied crayons. You'll need to watch the kids closely to make sure they don't touch the hot tin, but don't skip the stirring--it makes a HUGE difference.

After the crayons have cooled on the counter for 30 minutes, place the tin in your fridge or freezer for about 10-15 minutes. You want the crayons to be totally solid before removing them. After you do, place a towel on the counter and invert the muffin tin. Give each cup a good WHACK and your new crayons will pop right out.

Take a minute to admire your handiwork. Kids love seeing the crayons they made, and seeing their eyes light up is an awesome reward for you.

Muffin Tin Crayons DIY

When you're done, it's time to color! My daughter confused her new crayons for cookies, so that was fun...

After I cleaned up that mishap, it was all good. Dolly got to color, and I got about 15 minutes of peace and quiet while she worked on her latest masterpiece.

BONUS AWESOME: The crayon discs are easier for her to hold than regular crayons, so she can color longer AND she can't HULK SMASH them into oblivion.

Meg's Mega-Awesome Muffin Tin Crayons Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Lightly oil cups of a muffin tin (skip this step if you're using a silicone muffin tin).
  3. Remove labels from crayons.
  4. Break crayons into small pieces.
  5. Place crayon pieces in cups of muffin tin.
  6. Bake crayons for 10-15 minutes or until completely melted.
  7. Remove from oven and place tin on heat-resistant surface to cool for 30 minutes.
  8. Place tin in refrigerator or freezer or freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Remove tray and invert onto towel.
  10. Pop finished crayons from each tin.
  11. Color like a boss.