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No Candle Molds Here
When we say candle craft, many of us would envision the conventional method of making a candle itself - melting candle wax, pouring the liquefied wax into molds with wicks, a wait for the wax to solidify, then viola! You have a beautiful light source.
In truth, conventional candle making is a tricky craft to handle, especially with preschoolers since heat is involved. Further, wax is highly flammable! You are best advised to use the double-boiler method to melt the wax rather than convenient microwaving else you may risk a fire!
Before you get turned off by the candle craft idea altogether, check out these three preschool candle craft options that are relatively inexpensive, easy to make and best of all, they require no heat.
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Funky Cardboard Candles
- Empty toothpaste cardboard boxes
- Safety scissors
- School glue
- Masking tape
- Sewing Needle (optional)
- Toilet paper
- Solid colored wrapping paper
- Marker pens
- Yellow poster paint
- Cut the wrapping paper so that you are able to wrap the whole body of the rectangular box but not the top and bottom of the box.
- Help the children wrap the body of the rectangular box accordingly, securing wrapping paper with glue.
- Cut two pieces of the wrapping paper according to the size of the top or bottom of the box and paste those pieces to the top and bottom of the box respectively.
- Secure the top of the box from the inside with glue.
- Roll a small piece of toilet paper to shape a three-dimensional flame, cutting off any excess toilet paper. Secure the shape with masking tape.
- Pierce the bottom end of the flame with a toothpick. You may put a little glue to secure the flame to the toothpick.
- Invite the children to paint the flame with yellow poster paint and leave to dry.
- When dried, pierce the "flameless" end of the toothpick into the middle of the top of the rectangular box. Push the toothpick in until you are able to see the flame and a bit of the toothpick like a wick) above the box. To facilitate the piercing, you may use a sewing needle to prick a hole first (adults only), making sure the hole is not too big or else the toothpick may not be securely fastened.
- Last, challenge the children to decorate the box by drawing patterns on the body of the box with marker pens.
Note: Since the bottom of the box is not sealed, you may insert small treats such as candy into the "candle."
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- Beeswax paper
- Waxed paper (for kitchen use)
- Carefully cut the beeswax paper into a 6-inch by 6-inch square and the wax paper into a 7-inch by 7-inch square.
- Place the waxed paper onto a dry, clean and flat work surface then place a sheet of beeswax paper on top of wax paper leaving a 1-inch border at all sides.
- Before you proceed further, make sure the beeswax paper is soft and pliable. If it is not, use a hairdryer to soften (not melt!) it slightly.
- Place and press the wick along bottom edge of the beeswax paper and cut the wick so that it juts out at least half an inch or more at one side.
- Using the waxed paper like a sushi mat, carefully push the bottom edge of the wax paper away from you so that children can attempt to roll the bottom edge of the beeswax paper to enclose the wick, tightening it from above.
- Have the children continue to roll evenly and tightly until they reach the end of the beeswax paper, making sure that you do not roll the waxed paper into beeswax roll.
- When finished, the children can mesh the entire edge of the beeswax paper with their fingers to ensure that the edge seal firmly to the candle.
Note: This candle-making activity in class is for show only. If candles are sent home, parental guidance is needed if the candle is lit.
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Simple Candle Holder
- Cleaned small jam/baby food glass jars (make sure the mouth is large enough to put in the tealights)
- White school glue
- Masking tape
- Wooden clothespin
- Paper plate
- Tealight candles
- Give each child thin strips of masking tape and help them to make patterns such as checks or stripes on the jar.
- Clip a wooden clothespin at the mouth of the jar, preferably over an area covered with masking tape. This will act as a wooden handle for the jar.
- Holding the wooden clothespin with one hand, invite the children to slowly twirl the jar on the edge of its bottom rim and thinly paint the entire outside surface (excluding the bottom of the jar) of the jar with glue.
- Place the jar on its side onto the plate of salt. Using the clothespin handle, slowly roll the jar until the entire surface is covered by the salt. Shake off the excess and let the jar dry.
- When the jar is completely dried, help the children carefully strip off the masking tape and drop in a tealight into the newly made candle holder.
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Motor Skills and Creative Development
The above preschool candle craft ideas will give your group plenty of opportunities to practice their motor skills and to encourage their artistic expression. The Simple Candle Holder is suitable for preschoolers aged below 4 while the Funky Cardboard Candle and the Beeswax Candle are ideal for 4 - 5 year olds. Try them out and have fun!