Candle making crafts for kids need to be fun, but more importantly, they need to be safe. Once you choose those that are safe, you can look at whether they are simple enough, provide enough fun, and create something awesome enough to delight children. In other words: decide whether they are candle making crafts that wow kids!
What candle making crafts qualify?
First, one that does NOT qualify for kids: a gel wax craft. Gel wax requires too great a heat - even greater than other waxes. Add to that the caution that gel wax must be watched closely to avoid an explosion. I admit that the results are exciting. I agree that children would be wowed by gel wax shimmering with bubbles and playful inserts, but this is not a craft for youngsters. Children might learn how to make inserts for gel wax lights, but they should never work with gel wax itself.
Cheap candle making kits do not qualify either. Some adults think that because kits are available, they are great for classes. As a career teacher, I beg to differ.
Candle making crafts should let kids create from basic materials, not from kits. They have more fun, and derive more satisfaction when they know that they crafted their creations the way professional chandlers do.
Here are three candle making crafts that DO qualify as those that wow kids.
Beeswax luminaries made with sheet beeswax qualify in all four ways cited:
1. This craft is safe. No heat source is needed for beeswax. No knives or other sharp instruments are necessary.
2. It is simple. Children who are old enough to follow a few simple instructions can make beeswax luminaries.
3. It's fun. Kids love to think about - and talk about - the fact that bees made the wax. It is a good story. They love to imagine worker bees creating the wax and carefully constructing tiny nurseries for baby bees. They love to feel the honeycomb pattern on the beeswax, and see a piece of real honeycomb in its original form. It is a great tactile experience.
4. This craft produces a product in which children can delight. Watch their eyes gleam as they hold their finished candles. Watch them finger the honeycomb surface wonderingly. Watch them sniff the sweet fragrance. Even if they roll their beeswax crookedly, they will get completed projects that are beautiful pieces of art.
Floating Water Lights
Candle making crafts that result in floating lights wow kids in a different way. Call them "Swimming Lights" or
"Snorkeling Lights" to get more excitement going. If you live on a body of water that sports buoys, tell children these are "Bobbing Buoy" lights. If you live on a woodsy lake, you might want to turn these into citronella candle making crafts to ward off mosquitoes in the evening.
Floating water lights also qualify in the four ways cited:
1. This is a safe craft. No heat source is needed for making swimming lights. Nothing sharper than a pair of scissors is necessary.
2. They are simple. With little oversight, children can follow instructions and make beautiful little lights in a variety of gleaming, colorful shapes. Some will want to make flowers while others opt for fish and other sea creatures.
3. These lights are fun - and the cold water used in their production makes them a great outdoor craft for warm weather. Kids vie with one another to create new, clever names for their floating lights.
4. Children love displaying and using their finished products. Don't be surprised if they eagerly make up stories about their creations as they watch them float on the water.
Jelly Blob Candles
Blobs of jelly! Kids laugh over the name "Jelly Blob Candles" when you introduce this as one of your child-friendly candle making crafts. Don't confuse these with gel wax projects. These cute lights use jelly wax.
1. They are safe: no heat, knives, or scissors.
2. They are simple: squeeze jelly wax from tubes into containers.
3. They are fun: what kid would not like smearing bright blobs of jelly?
4. When completed, this candle making craft gives kids jewel bright luminaries to light a birthday party or a family dinner.
Candle making crafts that wow kids grow in number as children grow and develop, but these three are good starter crafts.