One of my 23-month-old daughter’s favorite activities: Drawing with her crayons. However, my daughter’s crayons have a short shelf life because they break so easily during coloring.
The broken crayon pieces, which I’m worried are choking hazards, are too short for my daughter’s little hands to use. So, they end up in the trash, and we have to restock our crayon collection.
This is why I so love the money-saving trick for making crayons less breakable that I recently learned from some clever friends (the same ones who figured out how to keep pacifiers from falling out of their daughter’s crib). Today’s hint is their tactic for making crayons last longer: Buy the most durable crayons on the market and wrap them in duct tape.
First, my friends did some research to determine which crayons tend to be the sturdiest and least breakable, according to other parents. They found that there was consensus online that Melissa & Doug Jumbo Triangular Crayons tend to be the strongest.
Search “most durable crayons” and “unbreakable crayons” online and these crayons dominate the top search results (note: they’re “made of plastic, not wax, for additional durability,” according to the manufacturer).
So, my friends bought a 10-pack of the Melissa & Doug crayons, and then inspiration struck. They figured that duct tape wrapped around the middle of the crayons would help reinforce them more. “Like a cast holds bone together,” says my friend, adding that “duct tape fixes everything.”
Their two-part approach seems to have mostly worked. Since they implemented it a year ago, just three crayons have broken. And the broken ones are still useable since only tiny pieces broke off the ends, with the part of the crayons covered by duct tape still intact.
To be sure, the crayons themselves, rather than the duct tape, may be the reason that there have been few breaks, and eventually, the duct tape will have to be adjusted as the crayons wear out. Still, I figure better safe than sorry, so my friend’s two-part trick may be one worth trying. Or at the least, you may want to repair crayons you have using duct tape, or opt for sturdier crayon models next time around.
In the meantime, if you already have a regular old crayon collection, with lots of broken crayons, save those broken pieces. It turns out that are ways to transform the pieces back into useful crayons, including melting them together into new larger crayons. You can find helpful instructions for how to do this over at Hands On As We Grow, Our Best Bites, and Arts to Crafts, and you can find even more inspiration over at Pinterest.
What are your tricks for making crayons last longer? What art supplies and crayons have you found to be the sturdiest? Share your thoughts below.