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Crayola Crayon Factory

(Crayola $34.99)

This is not the first time Crayola has offered a crayon factory, but it is perhaps the best so far. Unlike earlier models, this one allows kids to watch the process once they have loaded the crayons and chosen one of the three molds they want to use. Now the machine gets plugged in and in moments the crayons begin to melt and slip down the chute and into the mold. The mold chamber is lit and has a red LED power indicator that will signal when the new crayon is ready. The door to the mold will not open until it has cooled enough to be safe. The kit comes with eight crayons, but in fact the big idea here is to reuse bits of old crayons to make new multicolored ones. Mold them into a heart, a puppy or a racing car. There's a paper stripper packed into the factory to clear the wrappers off of old crayons before they go into the mold. Since this is a plug in toy it is marked for 8 and up and needs adult supervision That said, this combines a little bit of ecology, recycling old crayons to make renewed art supplies for creativity. Use this to make take home gifts for a party—small gifts kids can make and give to friends. 8 & up.

Ages: Early School Years, Tweens

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