This was such a fun experience and a little different than our normal family night structure. We still opened with a song and a prayer and talked about our upcoming week BUT after that we went straight to candle dipping. I asked our family to think, while dipping their candles, about the analogies of life that can be applied to candle dipping. Here are some things that we came up with;
- Relating to adversity. As we go through life our adversities help us to grow, like dipping candles.. They make us who we are. Our trials help us to relate to others who, in time, might go through a similar trial. All trials can help us gain compassion and by so doing help us to have the desire to help others. This is like lighting our candles to help another. (This idea came from an object lesson that inspired this family night! Check it out here.)
- As we go through experiences in life our testimonies grow, just as dipping our candles do. Then when we have a testimony we can help light the way for others to develop their testimonies.
- It doesn't take anything away from our flame to light someone else candle.
- As you dip your string, you have to pull down after dipping into the wax, if you want to have a straight candle. The same is true in life, sometimes we have to be aware of our actions in shaping ourselves, especially while we are young to help us develop good habits or to be shaped into who we want to be.
- When dipping your candle it might not look perfect, in fact it might look kind of funny. When it burns and the wax drips down is when a candle really looks beautiful. As it is in life, when we give our light, this the time when we truly look beautiful.
Get dipping and see where your brains go. There are so many more and it is fun to see what your kids come up with. I think activities like this are so good for kids to learn how to think about life. Teaching them to self instruct as they come up with their own ideas.
Talk about life analogies while you are dipping your candles or place your candles in holders, light them and turn the lights low. Then have a discussion about the analogies that everyone thought of while doing the fun activity.
How to prepare for dipping
For about 5-7 people to make candles you will need;
- Candle Wax - about 4 lbs
- Candle wick string - 48 to 60 inches - cut to desired length 6 to 8 inches
- One empty #10 can (or an old pan you don't mind having wax in)
- nother older pan that the #10 can will fit inside of
- Newspaper or tinfoil
- A bowl of water
- Paper towels
To elt the wax, place wax in #10 can and place inside of a pot that is just larger than it, with water in it, to form a water bath and to safely heat the wax. Please place high importance on this step because wax can create a flash fire if heated to 300 degrees. When heated in a water bath my wax never reached above 150 degrees. A water bath is the way to go!
Bring your water to a boil and then you can turn down the heat. Boiling water is the same temperature as water that simmers after it has boiled. It will take about 20 minutes to melt the wax. Never leave wax unattended. Water boiling dry could be very dangerous. As long as you don't leave it and make sure there is water at all times you should be fine.
Then transfer to a countertop where the dipping will occur. Place on top of tinfoil or newspaper. Also place a bowl of cold water near the wax. Don't forget to warn your kiddos that the pan is hot.
On the first dip let sting sit in the wax for 20 seconds. Pull it out and drip into wax pan. Then emerge in cool water. Dry candle with a. paper towel and repeat. However each dip after the first dip the candle just goes in and out of wax for a couple seconds. Also after the first few dips you will want to pull down on the end of the candle to help shape and straighten out the candle. Make them as big as you want.
When the dipping is over your kids might want to do this...
Seriously I have the best memories of doing this to make those cute hand molds painted gold for my parents for gifts. It seems like a generation ago we did this all the time! None of my kids have done this at school or other activities. But it is so fun so I am glad we did this at home!
Just a heads up on what would seem obvious but you never know! When you dump out the water, pour it over rocks outside. Don't let that wax go down your drain!
After candles are made they draw really fun designs on tinfoil. Kids can also drip the wax on the tinfoil from a melting candle to make fun designs. Of course supervised. This can make a fun next day activity.
Where to purchase supplies
Below are some links to Amazon to buy the wax and wick string. However, you can get these much cheaper if you head to Michaels or Joann's and use their coupon. I even saw wax for making candles in my grocery store and it was reasonably priced, $3 per lb.