As part of the ongoing effort to dig out from all the piles of stuff we've accumulated, we cleaned out Rachel's closet. The big dig occured in the last week of summer, as part of prep for school. We found a pile as tall as William of craft kits and similar stuff that had never been opened. I guess there was a phase of "Rachel is into crafts" that became easy presents for friends and family. But since it got stashed in her closet, little of it actually got used. Saturday, the kids and I went through the big pile, which had ended up on the dining room table (and stayed for a while). One of the items was a Crayola Crayon Maker. "Take your broken crayons and make new ones!" It always seemed cool to me, but Rachel was never very interested. William, however, saw this and thought it sounded WAY COOL.
So we opened the box, did the minimal assembly, and cranked it up. Mr. Perpetual Motion sat for 10 minutes watching the crayons melt. Then waited 10 more minutes for them to cool enough to come out of the mold. He is in LOVE with this thing. We had to make crayons for the owner of our local gaming shop (she was all excited). We had to invite the girl next door to come over and see the process. Every moment we're not involved doing something else, "Mom, can we make more crayons?"
After dinner tonight, I was busy cleaning up and he wanted to make more. Since I couldn't get there right away, he did it himself (with permission). I was vaguely worried that there would be toxic fumes or that he could burn himself, since the box DOES say "8 and up" and he's six. But it's pretty well designed and smells like, well, hot crayons. And he's been careful (we'll see if that lasts).
They even come with customizable labels that have the official Crayola logo on them. It's pretty cool.