Tapestry of Faith: Chalice Children: A Program about Our Unitarian Universalist Community for Preschoolers

Alternate Activity 1: Hand-rolled Beeswax Candles

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Sheets of natural beeswax, 8 inches wide by 16.5 inches long
  • 15 ply, 1/8-inch diameter, no wire, flat braid wicking, and scissors
  • Scissors
  • Optional: Red ribbon, cut in 12-inch lengths, one piece to decorate each candle
  • Optional: A hair dryer (to warm wax that is cold or brittle), and an extension cord, if needed

Preparation for Activity

  • Watch an instructional video on YouTube.
  • Decide how many candles each child will make. Calculate how much beeswax and what other supplies you need. Each 8 by 16.5 inch sheet of beeswax makes two candles. Note: Do not use regular household string as wicking.
  • Purchase the supplies. The Amazon website offers a beeswax candle kit with supplies to make 20 candles. You can also get supplies at a craft supply store, such as Michael's.
  • If you will use a hair dryer, plan where in the meeting space you can safely plug it in and operate it. Obtain an extension cord if you need one.
  • Optional: Pre-cut candle wicks.

Description of Activity

Make hand-rolled beeswax candles.

Fold a beeswax sheet in half, press down on the crease and fold it back and forth a few times, then tear the sheet in half. Place the half sheet on a table. Put the torn edge on the inside facing the child. Snip a piece of wicking slightly longer than the sheet. Press the wick into the wax at the torn edge. Fold the edge of the beeswax around the wick, as tightly as possible. If the sheet of beeswax is brittle, lightly blow the hair dryer for two or three seconds over the sheet.

Once you have the wick securely wrapped up in the sheet, keep rolling tightly. Once you have the whole candle sheet rolled, press the wax edge into the candle. Blow some warm air over the candle for a few seconds as needed to fasten the edge securely into the candle. Optional: Tie a ribbon around the candle for gift presentation.

Including All Participants

Consider making 4-inch candles to cut the cost of this activity (beeswax sheets may be expensive), or if rolling the beeswax sheet will be hard for some of the children.