I am a teacher and a mom to three young children. I also volunteer as a Sunday School Teacher. In all those areas I am in contact with crayons. I am frugal. I like to use that word--it sounds better than cheap. I have a friend who calls it thriftilicious, which is a fun word too. Anyway... I asked for a Crayon-Maker for Christmas and my sister got me one. Yay!
(Yay! That's my first picture)
To use the crayon maker, you take all those broken and stubby crayons and peel off the paper. Then break them into two or three pieces. You place them in the metal tray at the top of the machine, turn on the timer (which turns on the light bulb), and wait about 15 minutes. When the crayons are melted, you pour them into the molds, and wait for the safety screen to unlock. In about 30 minutes total, you go from brokens and stubbies to pointy and sometimes swirly crayons.
Things I wish I had known.
*The lightbulb that provides the heat is not included. But on the outside of the box it does tell you what size you buy.
*The crayons you end up with are about half the length of a normal crayon. I'm okay with this because this size actually helps develop proper grip for the preschoolers in your life.
*The box shows swirly crayons. Some of mine were swirly, but most were not. I was okay with that.
*The timer and melt tray do not always work properly on my machine. The timer will shut itself off at random times, so I have to listen for the ticking. I actually got to where I could tell when it was time to dump by the smell of the melted wax. (I can also tell when my breads are done by smell--pretty cool.) The melt trays on my machine also don't always fall into the grooves properly and sometimes I have to jimmy them to get them in the proper placement for pouring. For these two reasons, I would not recommend this for a child. I get frustrated with them, imagine how frustrating it would be for a ten year old.
It sounds like I didn't like my new toy. But I did like it. In fact I had it cooking crayons nearly every waking hour of my Christmas break. And no I did not go around break my boys' crayons to play with my toy, like my lovely sister keeps claiming. I have access to plenty of old crayons that are wanting to be new again. And the Crayon Maker does come with some new crayons as well. I refuse to melt down perfectly good crayons, though.
I believe this machine retails for less than twenty dollars. If you are a frugal teacher, day care provider, mom, or someone who likes to color, I recommend the Crayola Crayon Maker. The kids were interested in the process and proudly showed the completed crayons to others. But I would definitely plan to provide supervision with children using this machine.
(I was not asked to review this machine and am receiving no compensation. I just wanted to share my thoughts with you.)