Making fall leaves in preschool

Before school started this year, I decided to buy a couple of candle warmers. This week, we put those candle warmers to good use in our pre-k class by melting crayons on our paper leaves…

Although the candle warmer is fairly small, it works like a charm! The children absolutely loved how the crayons smoothly glided over the candle warmer…

I purchased the candler warmers from Walmart.  They are supposed to be for wick-less candles but I wanted to try them for art.  The nice thing is that they only heat up to one temperature and are meant for melting wax rather than for cooking.  I still reminded my students not to touch the black part of the warmer.  The children easily understood that the black part of the warmer was hot and they were very careful…

The children loved exploring and color mixing with the melting crayons.  Some children tried coloring with three crayons at a time and others liked to go over the leaves with as many colors as they could…

Some of the children figured out how to take their own leaves off of the candle warmer but most of the time, it was my job to remove the leaves from the candle warmer…

After the leaves come off of the candle warmer, they cool and harden almost immediately. The wax coating almost made the paper feel like a flat crayon and the leaves were almost transparent when held up to the light. We used very thin paper for this process…

We also discovered that if you take the leaf directly from the warmer to a sheet of paper, you can make a quick print on your paper before the leaf gets too cool.  In the photo below, the leaves on top are the paper leaves with melted crayon and the leaves underneath are the leaf prints….

One of my jobs was to also wipe down the candle warmers every once in awhile between uses. The crayon starts to build up a bit on the warmer but it is very simple to wipe off with a dry paper towel while the warmer is still hot…

We did this activity at the very end of our day, so the children put all their leaves into a plastic baggy and took them home. After the children left, My assistant, (Ms. Abby) and I wanted to try this out for ourselves so we stayed a little late and played…

Miss Abby and I made beautiful Fall Trees with our fall leaves.  Perhaps I should go back and let the children make their own fall trees. Perhaps we will try this with real leaves! Oh, I can see so many possibilities here. I love it!

I am linking up with No Time for Flashcards Link and Learn!


Classified: Mom



By |2011-10-06T20:00:13+00:00October 6th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Esther October 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    Wow! That’s a great idea to use candle warmers! They look so Handy.
    We wanted to try a Melting crayon art from Helping little hands blog. But I was worried to use candles for melting the crayons. I think the candle warmers would be a better alternative
    Pointillism art –

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm - Reply

      Esther – I just left a message on your blog too! I think we were trading messages:) We loved the candle warmer. I wanted to try crayon melting coloring but until I decided to try the candle warmers, I worried about anything where the heat would get too hot. We just loved this!

      PS. We used crayola brand crayons as I heard they melt the best.

  2. Cathy@pre-schoolplay October 7, 2011 at 1:21 am - Reply

    What a brilliant idea. I’ve seen so much melted crayon art lately but wanted something where the children could be involved in the whole process and this is just perfect! You have such amazing ideas, thanks for sharing. I just need to source one of those candle warmers now:)

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm - Reply

      Thanks Cathy for the sweet comment:)

  3. Scott October 7, 2011 at 7:26 am - Reply

    Wonderful idea Deborah! I think I may try this soon. I really like the ease of the idea and the final result is really cool.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm - Reply

      I think your class would do very well with this Scott!

  4. kristin @preschool daze October 7, 2011 at 7:40 am - Reply

    well, off to the store i go to buy some candle warmers!!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm - Reply


  5. Amber October 7, 2011 at 8:29 am - Reply

    Thank you! We’ve always used plate warmers in our other programs and I just have never considered the candle warmer. We’ll be doing something with the candle warmer in the near future. 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm - Reply

      I haven’t tried a plate warmer – I don’t have one of those!

  6. Little Wonders' Days October 7, 2011 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Very clever idea. I love that the teachers played too!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm - Reply

      Oh yes, we love to play:)

  7. Chris October 7, 2011 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Fun. Will be trying this. Being a teacher that likes to play makes teaching so much easier. You and Miss Abby must share your love of learning so enthusiastically.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm - Reply

      Abby and I love to experiment when we can – this way we can decide what the children will be able to do without our help and which ideas we just need to set on hold for awhile.

  8. lala October 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    these activities are very interesting for every teacher and child too. i love theses ones and i will try.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      Terrific Lala!

  9. JDaniel4's Mom October 8, 2011 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    I just stumbled this. I love the idea of using a candle warmer to melt the candle wax.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for the stumble!

  10. Kierna October 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    What a lovely activity – I don’t think I’ve ever seen those candle warmers over here, but will keep an out eye out now. Thanks also for your patience over on Stumble

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      I think they are also considered coffee cup warmers:)

  11. Deb @ Living Montessori Now October 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    This looks like so much fun … LOVE the candle-warmer idea! I stumbled your post and also added it to my autumn leaves Pinterest board:

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      Thank you Deb! I am just now catching up with you on the stumbles!!

  12. Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas October 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    I really love the ease of this! They get to see how the crayons melt and then harden, experiment with colors and color mixing and make a cute fall craft all in one! FABULOUS! By the way – the trees would be oh so cute, esp. if you did a handprint/arm tree with this – the parents would LOVE getting them home! I know I would, haha!

    Thanks for sharing on the Sunday Showcase & I’ve shared on FB as well.


    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 10, 2011 at 12:29 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing Bern:) I have yet to make a handprint tree and I am itching to do one soon!

  13. heather October 10, 2011 at 3:11 am - Reply

    what a neat idea! i get the sense that there are so many possibilities with the candle warmer… just the idea of melting crayons and using that in so many different ways. makes me wonder what else!

    great, great idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 10, 2011 at 8:07 am - Reply

      I have been brainstorming other ideas for my class to put these to good use:)

  14. Aimee October 14, 2011 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    Love the idea- love the lesson and will be featuring it this weekend at The Sunday Showcase! This is a must do in my home!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 14, 2011 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      Thanks Aimee:)

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