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Incredible Shrinking Art

Make a Recycled Backpack Charm

What you need:

• Plastic marked with #6 inside a small triangle made of arrows. It’s commonly used for clear clamshell containers you see in cafeterias and restaurants.
  Cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper
• Oven or toaster oven
• Oven mitt
• Hole puncher
• Scissors
• Permanent markers
• String, yarn, or cord
• Beads (optional)

What you do:

1. Have your caregiver preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. While the oven preheats, draw a design onto the #6 plastic using permanent markers. Make sure to draw this as large as you can. Your design will shrink by almost 75 percent when heated.

3. Cut your design out from the plastic and punch a hole so you can attach your charm. 

4. Place your charm on the lined cookie sheet, and have your caregiver place it into the oven. 

5. Watch through the oven window. Your charm will curl up and flatten out; that is how you know it is done. This will take anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute depending on the size of your charm. 

6. Have your caregiver remove the cookie sheet from the oven with the oven mitt.

7. Allow the cookie sheet and charm to cool.

8. Once cool, loop the string to your charm through the hole you punched. If you have beads, you can string those to your charm for an added effect. 

9. Tie the charm on your backpack or lunchbox and show it off at school.

The Children’s Museum is more than a space for children to play – it’s a community resource of programs and activities, built around learning through play and providing access for children and their caregivers. Serving families with two locations: Downtown and Children’s Museum Chesterfield. Visit
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