Saturday, January 7, 2012

Broken Crayon Fire Starters

Originally publised 6-14-11.

We enjoy sitting around a cozy fire outside in the evening.  Whether it's out camping or in the fire pit in our back yard, if the breeze is blowing in the right direction, we love it!  It's a great time for story-telling, sharing memories and dreaming about the future.

Although my husband can start a fire with rain-soaked wood and a piece of flint, as I'm sure your Boy-Scout-merit-badge-wearing he-man can do as well, a little help from a fire starter can keep the language during the evening, well, G-rated (if you know what I mean).  So here's a great idea that you and the kiddos can make together.  When you are done, you can wrap it up and present it to your favorite "father" for Father's Day, too!

  • Cardboard egg carton (don't use the styrofoam kind)
  • Dryer lint (or wood shavings)
  • Old crayons, old candles or parrafin wax
  1. Place aluminum foil on top of a cookie sheet.  If you have an old cookie sheet to use for this project, you can skip that step.
  2. Gather enough dryer lint from your dryer' s lint trap to fill each egg cut-out about 3/4 full. Don't be particular about the color or consistency of the lint. Any dryer lint will do.
  3. Grate, cut or break crayons or old candles into small pieces.  (If cutting or grating, this step is not for small children.  But you knew that already, right?)
  4. Place enough crayon/wax shavings on lint to fill to the top.
  5. Place in oven at 175 degrees until melted.
  6. Allow the wax in your new fire starter to dry overnight.
  7. Store fire starters in a cool, dry place. When you need to start a fire, just rip one of the fire starters from the rest and light.  Each starter should last about 5 minutes.
Enjoy your outdoor fire without chemicals or charred newspaper flying about.

What do you like to do while sitting around a campfire?  Talk?  Tell stories?  Sing songs?  We are always looking for new ideas and would love to share yours!

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