Recycled records

When I told the girls that we were going to recycle some old records they stared at me blankly!  I had to explain that they weren't my records, no I'm too young to own any, I had bought them at an op shop over a year ago and never got around to doing anything with them!  Now that we are packing up the house to move, I found them and decided I wasn't going to take them with us but instead make something - bowls!

They still had no idea what I was talking about so I had to show them.  Sophia called them discs, Amber thought they were frisbees!  I had to YouTube a record player just so they could see them in action!  My poor kids have never really seen a cassette tape in action either!  So here we are - with some records and some totally confused kids!

So first up we put the record on top of an upside down glass bowl - it's an oven proof bowl.  Then using a heat gun, Sophia waved back and forth heating the record.  We decided to stack two heavy cans in the middle of the record to keep it in place and keep the bottom of the final bowl flat.  The record heated fairly fast, but unevenly.  We used our hands to pull the edge of the record down to assist in the final shape.  We turned the record, slowly heating.  The plastic only really stretched forming this final product.
I think if we had a smaller glass bowl the shap would have continued down leaving a really nice smoothly shaped bowl.  Right now it looks like a UFO.

For the next bowl we decided to go to the oven for help.  We cranked it to the highest setting and popped the glass bowl in on a low rack.  Again, ensure that your glass bowl is oven proof.  We sat the record on top and shut the door.  Almost immediately the record began to soften and flop around the bowl.  It was great for the girls to see this process!  Once the plastic had completely flopped we pulled the bowl out of the oven with the record still on top and using oven mits gently formed the edges of the bowl.  This is the most natural form of the bowl and didn't require much effort to form.  We popped the record off the bowl and let it cool (only took a couple of minutes)

Sophia wants to fill this one with pencils and crayons, we're also going to try and colour it or find some records that are already coloured to create some really funky bowls!

Our third and final bowl was popped in the oven and heated the same way as the second.  This time though, when I pulled it out of the oven I used some pegs to hold the shape.  I tried using oven mits but they got in the way, so instead I just used bare hands - VERY carefully.  The record is extremely hot and I heated my fingertips a little, but it was worth it!  The record is very floppy when hot, so it was really easy to pinch the plastic and then quickly hold it with a peg.  When the record cooled completely I took off the pegs and got this awesome result below.  Sophia added some Malteasers and immediately started using her bowl!

This was a really fun activity, and we learned a bit about how we used to listen to music and store it.  We also learned the importance of recycling and reusing :)