Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ways to reuse school supplies

I hate wasting school supplies.  Those broken crayons, filled notebooks from last semester, and the empty pens can really add up to a lot of trash if you don't get creative.  Here are a few ways to reuse or repurpose some of those useless school supplies.

  •  Broken crayons = Toddler crayons   Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.  Line a mini muffin pan with mini muffin liners.  Place broken crayons bits into the liners. You can sort by color or make rainbow crayons.  It's up to you!  Place the muffin tin in the oven for 10 minutes.  When the crayons are melted, remove the tin and let the crayons cool completely.  You can pop them in the freezer for an hour or so to speed things up.  You can also pour the melted wax into candy molds to make shapes or into ice cube trays for a different shape.  I find the mini muffin shape is great for little toddler hands since it is big and chunky and easy to grip.
  • Empty pens can be used to store tiny craft beads for your budding crafter, to mark spring seedlings in the garden, and as craft sticks for preschool art projects.
  • Use old notebooks for science projects!  Use the paper to make papier-mâché projects.  Shred the old notes and look up "how to make paper" online.  I also use the cardbaord front and backs for toddler art projects like a painting canvas, cardstock, and ornaments.
  • Broken or too short pencils make excellent wood compost for your spring garden!
Happy reusing!