Shrinky Dinks

Summary: Shrinky Dinks are sheets of polystyrene plastic that when heated up shrink down to about 9 times smaller than their original size. They can be colored on with marker or colored pencils and the designs will shrink down as well.


  • Polystyrene plastic sheets (Imagineers should have the sheets pre-cut into shapes and sanded)
  • Scissors
  • Sandpaper
  • Pliers
  • Heat gloves
  • Heat gun
  • Baking pan
  • Colored pencils and/or markers.
  • Optional: hole puncher, string, key chains


  1. Prior to passing out the Shrinky Dinks, tell the children to draw their designs on the sanded side of the plastic film.
  2. Hand out the plastic film and coloring material and instruct the children on what you want them to draw.
  3. Collect the film from the children in small groups and bring them over to the shrink station which should be manned by one of your volunteers. The children will want to watch, but make sure they do so in small groups and at a safe distance.
  4. Have the volunteer manning the station place the shapes in the baking pan one at a time and shrink them using the heat gun.
  5. Use the pliers to move them to a cooling station where they need to sit before being returned to the children.
  6. Optional: help children either place their shape on a string, or a key chain.

Debrief Questions:

  • What were the different shapes and designs that you and your peers made?
  • Is it okay if they’re all different? Why?

Grade Level: Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th & Up

Messiness Level: Sort of Messy

Activity Length: Long (>30 minutes)