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Back-to-school is a hectic but fun time for my kids. They enjoy getting to meet their new teachers and classmates. They get to pick out new clothing, lunchbags, and backpacks. I like to return to a set routine, getting the kids to school each day, and having time to work from home in peace. We are very fortunate to live in a middle-class suburban neighborhood in Florida, where my children attend safe schools that offer them so many opportunities. In other communities, they are not so fortunate. Children in Ethiopia, for example, are unable to attend school because they must help their families. Something as simple as fetching fresh water is a daily, time-consuming task that takes precedence over earning an education. Read more about how you can help bring clean water to communities in Ethiopia below.
Each school year, we buy a ton of new supplies. Pencils, notebooks, markers, erasers, glue sticks, etc. Rarely do we reuse the previous year’s supplies, even if they are perfectly intact. I was thinking about how wasteful this was, given the lack of educational opportunities worldwide, and how these supplies just tend to lay around my house unused. We have a huge bin of old broken crayons, so I started to think about what I could do with them. What about a recycled crayon alphabet? Brilliant! This alphabet can be used to draw AND practice letter identification and spelling words. Here’s how you can make one at home for your children!
- Old crayons in a variety of colors
- Silicone Alphabet Tray Molds
- Cutting board
Begin by sifting through all of your child’s old crayons to find the small, broken, and/or dirty crayons. I chose all different colors except black, brown, and grey – I wanted them to be bold and colorful. Next, I removed all of the papers from around the crayons and placed them in a large bowl together.
I wanted to make crayons of all colors, but I didn’t want to actually mix unlike colors together, so I sorted the crayons by color into red, purple, blue, yellow, and green. I used a cutting board and knife to cut the crayons into small pieces.
I preheated the oven to 300 degrees F. I filled each letter-opening with crayon pieces. Make sure each letter is completely filled, almost over-flowing. As the crayons melt, the gaps will disappear, so the crayon level will be lowered.
Set the silicone baking molds on a cookie sheet, and place the cookie sheet in the oven for about 10 – 12 hours. I reserved some crayon pieces and added them mid-way through the baking process for some of the letters that seemed to be too shallow. Carefully remove the cookie sheet from the oven and set it on the counter. When the silicone molds cool, you can move them into the freezer to set up well. Afterwards, carefully remove the letters from the molds, and your recycled crayon alphabet is complete. I stored our letters in a pencil box. The kids had fun spelling their names together using these crayons!
Remember how I mentioned how you could help children in Ethopia above? Here’s what you can do: Accept the #40Pounds Challenge! For every #40Pounds Challenge picture uploaded to Instagram, tag @EmergenC, and Emergen-C®will donate $5 to charity water to help fund projects that bring clean, accessible water to communities in Ethiopia. How simple is that?
Head to Walmart where you can purchase Emergen-C® in a variety of flavors and package sizes. You can find them in the Pharmacy section with the Multivitamins. Emergen-C® is packed with B vitamins, antioxidants†, electrolytes plus more vitamin C than 10 oranges^. With over 20 flavors, you have plenty of delicious varieties to choose from.” † Zinc and Manganese. (^Based on the USDA.gov nutrient database value for a large, raw orange.)
Remember, take the #40Pounds Challenge. To enter, upload a photo, use the hashtag #40Pounds, and tag @emergenc, and Emergen-C® will donate $5 to charity water to help fund projects that bring clean, accessible water to communities in Ethiopia.
Visit www.emergenctransforms.com to learn more.