Monday, September 7, 2009

Recycling Old Birthday Candles With An Ocean Theme - A Weekly Unplugged Project

The theme for this weeks Unplug Your Kids project, is ocean. Since, I noticed at our last birthday party, that we have a few of those numbered birthday candles, that we've outgrown, I decided to combine the Unplugged Project, with a little recycling, and make some ocean themed candles.

We have number of shells purchased at a beach gift shop on our last trip to the Oregon coast. At first the children weren't too sure about using their precious shells for the project, but after they realized the shells would not be hurt (I hope), they agreed to continue.

First we broke the number candles into smaller pieces, and placed them into a cleaned out tin can, and then into a pan filled with hot water.

Using a spoon at first, and then a potholder, to keep the can from floating in the water, we placed the pan on a burner, on medium heat, until all the wax had melted. This step got pretty hot, so after the first few seconds, I took over, and the children supervised. We were planning to add a little essential oil at this point, to scent the candles, but I was so busy trying to keep little hands back from the stove, I completely forgot.

We were not able to free the wicks from the birthday candles, when we were breaking them apart, but instead fished them out of the melted wax. Two came out okay, but one came apart in the wax. Luckily, we had a broken birthday candle ( the tiny taper kind), on reserve just in case. It is much easier to pull the broken wax away from the wick of that sort of candle.

Once, all the wax was melted, I removed the can from the water, and my daughter dipped it into the three shells the children had picked out as good candle candidates.

We let the wax cool slightly, for a few seconds, and then pushed the wicks into each candle. Then, when they had cooled completely, we removed the little bits of wax, that had overflowed, or dripped onto the outside of the shells, and, they were ready to light.

The little one's were disappointed not to be able to blow them out right away, and there was a bit of confusion about whether, or not there would be cake, but other than that, they were a hit.

It's geat to be a homeschooler.


Anonymous said...

What a great project! I love how you recycled those number candles and your shell candles turned out beautifully. Thanks for joining in!

Michelle said...

These came out really great!

Becky @ BoysRuleMyLife said...

I LOVE THIS!!! Beautiful.

Dawn said...

Wonderful! I like the project!

So Smrt said...

:) I loved the project but my favorite was the confusion about the cake. Most of my projects turn out that way, with some expectation at the end that I didn't foresee!