Oh this is so much fun. Anne emailed me last week to share that her Sunday School class has used Crock-Pots to cook Shrinky Dinks. The last time I made Shrinky Dinks, I was in second grade. I now own a second grader. This realization was rather startling.
--box of Shrinky Dinks---found readily in most craft and drug stores. I found ours at Walgreens while I was buying yummy-scented candles. Because they make me happy.
--colored pencils (the box comes with some, but we liked ours better)
I plugged the crockpot(s)---I ended up plugging in 3 because we made so many---on the counter to preheat on high and we got to work coloring and cutting the plastic. The plastic can be sharp; I'd recommend an adult do the cutting.
Put the cut out plastic shape into the crockpot. If the crockpot is fully hot, it will begin to shrink right in front of you---it will curl, fold up a bit and create either jubilance or tears.
But then it flattens and is fine, and tears will turn to glee.
Remove the little piece of shrunken plastic with a spoon or spatula. If it hasn't fully shrunk, the piece will stick a bit to the bottom of the crock. This alarmed me, and I pushed it around a bit with the spoon, but I think that wasn't necessary. They seem to unstick on their own when the shrinking process is complete--the longest piece took about 10 minutes. If the crockpot isn't fully heated, it will take longer.
I can't remember the last time the girls and I had so much fun working together on a project. This craft is a great age-equalizer. Both my almost 4 and almost 7 year old could work side-by-side without competition or any worry about "doing it right"----I colored a few, too, and it was a lovely afternoon. I will definitely make these again.
I liked the crockpot rather than the oven, because the kids could sit on the counter and watch them shrivel, and I could poke at them with a spoon (probably not necessary, but it made me happy). I didn't use the crockpot cover, and we all peered in without fear of great bodily harm.
A-plus craft. Thank you SO much, Anne!