Fun outdoor project: Using recycled crayons to identify leaves

Botany or the study of plants is a great way to introduce simple and basic plant concepts. Plants have many components like leaves, which make parts of trees, bushes, and flowers. When plants grow, they can produce seeds, fruits and leaves. But leaves are powerful producers of photosynthesis. They harness the sunlight energy in the presence of carbon dioxide and water to manufacture sugars necessary for plants to live. Without leaves, trees and plants would not be able to exist.

Leaves are present in different shapes and sizes. Botanists are experts that can distinguish between the various types of leaves. Some leaves can be long, oblong, or short, circular. But these can vary. From simple to complex ones, most leaves have veins. These channels carry nutrients and water to plants.

But young nature explorers can also identify and distinguish the different types of leaves. In this project, children along with adults can explore backyards or parks for several leaves. Children should always be along side adults when exploring unknown places.

Recycled crayons and leaves

How to use broken pieces of crayons?


  • Pieces of crayons
  • Aluminum muffin liners
  • Oven


  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Collect as many broken pieces of crayons
  • Separate them by color or color tones
  • Place them on separate muffin liners
  • Insert into oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Warning: Only adults should take the muffin pan out.
  • Let the crayons cool
  • Once cool, gently take them out and place on a paper plate or other suitable place
  • Use to color, draw or to do the leaves project below

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How to use crayons to identify types of leaves?


  • Crayon slabs
  • Various leaves
  • Construction papers
  • Glue


  • Collect fallen leaves in your backyard or park
  • Select leaves with various shapes and sizes (tip: Make sure to not gather crunchy leaves. They tend to break for this project)
  • Place them on a plastic bag
  • Arrange them on construction paper
  • Color the side with veins
  • Paste them with glue and let them dry
  • Study the veins and contour arrangements

Did you notice the different shapes of each leaf? Did you notice the veins as you color the leaf? When doing this project, make sure to study the structures, forms, and color of each leaf.

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.


  1. Michelle on at

    What a fun project. We’ve made the crayons like that before in the past and I’ve found the best use for them is projects like this or for making imprints. I love all of the information you’ve given about how plants get and use their energy!

    • Barbara Mascareno on at

      So glad you like this project. Plants are wonderful tools to teach children about nature.

  2. crazynutsmom on at

    What a fun Project. I have yet to show my kids how to do this. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Barbara Mascareno on at

      I hope this project a try. It’s really fun to do with the kids.

  3. rsrote on at

    What a super fun and informative project!

    • Barbara Mascareno on at

      Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Courtney P. on at

    This is a very different and interesting project! I’m going to pin it so I can reference it when my daughter is old enough to explore with me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Barbara Mascareno on at

      Thanks for sharing this post. I’m sure you’ll have a great time making these with your daughter.

  5. Barbara, what a great project post and presentation! You’re so good at them, and it makes your blog special ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Barbara Mascareno on at

      Thanks Courtney, so glad you liked the post.

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