Candle Making with Kids
Making your own homemade candles is a fun and rewarding hobby which can also be a brilliant group activity for adults and children alike. However, due to the nature of working with wax, making your own candles can be difficult when introducing young ones to the hobby and, at times, can be hazardous if not handled correctly.
Concerns about safety often put people off having a go at making homemade candles, especially with children. Indeed, candle making shouldn’t be attempted by children under the age of eight, but if handled carefully, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy this amazing craft with kids and get creative with candles! In this guide we’ll go through a few top tips for making candles with children and how to create your own amazing candles safely whilst still having fun.
Hot wax is perhaps the biggest concern for many when approaching candle making. For obvious reasons, hot wax can be very dangerous so when handling it, make sure you or another adult is the one doing so. When heating the wax and pouring it, try and keep children a safe distance away from any splashes or spills which may result from these stages of the process.
Other ways to keep the handling of wax safe include keeping the wax away from naked flames, never leaving it unattended by an adult, using a holder when handling a pouring pot and always using a thermometer to check the temperature of the wax and prevent it from overheating.
Checking your ingredients
Making sure you have the right ingredients for the project is always a good start, however there are a few things to consider when picking what to use in your candle making when doing so with children.
To begin with, only ever use wax that is for candle making and make sure it is a type of wax your children may be allergic to. Common types of wax include paraffin, soy, bees and gel, and, although it is rare to have a reaction to these, it is always good to check first. Beeswax is perhaps the least reactive type and is also the easiest to use safely. The same rule applies to fragrances, colours and any additives you’re using in your candles. Always check the ingredients of these before using.
Safety equipment is essential for candle making, especially when children are involved. Purchasing safety glasses, some heat-proof gloves, aprons and having a fire extinguisher on stand by can go along way to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone when making candles. Also make sure to tie any long hair back with hair bands, or even hair nets, and keep a number of old cloths aside in case of spillages.
Making sure all the candle making equipment and any containers being used are heat proof and sturdy is also essential for safety. When melting the wax, always use a double boiler as this is the safest way to melt wax and use potholders which will help protect your hands. Keeping the equipment clean also helps prevent any accidents that may occur during the process.
Organise your work space
Keeping your candle making work space organised and clean will help prevent any accidents and keep children safe throughout the candle making process. Make sure all pieces of equipment are carefully organised and ready for use when needed will prevent spillages or the wax being unattended as well as making the whole process smoother and easier.
Keeping very small children and any pets away from the candle making area is also essential to safety and make sure you don’t crowd the candle making space; always keep the number of those helping with the candle making relevant to the space available.
Finally, make sure you have enough space around you and the children for making the candles. Keep the work space uncluttered and open as well as at a suitable, working level for your children. High work spaces which children have to reach up to use are far more likely to result in accidents and can be very dangerous. The same is true for overcrowded, untidy work spaces.
Other useful tips
Aside from safety, there are a few handy tips which can help make candle making with children easy and enjoyable.
Try and keep the design of the candle simple, but not boring. Anything too complicated could take a long time to make and won’t be suitable for beginners. Try simple shaped molds with bright colours and calming scents as a starter and progress further to things like gel wax when you and the kids feel confident enough with the process.
Rolled candles are a great way to may very simple and safe candles for little ones. The process usually involves pre-stamped wax sheets made of beeswax which can be easily rolled around wick tapers. These beeswax sheets often come in a variety of colours and are incredibly easy to use.
Dipped candles, a candle making method which has been used for hundreds of years, is another simpler and easily accessible way into candle making for kids. This process can be easily achieved by dipping long wicks into molten wax, letting it dry and then dipping again, repeating the process until the candle is thick enough. Whilst not as complicated as other candle making techniques, this method still requires much of the safety advice given above due to the presence of hot wax in the process.
Finally, try and pick an occasion for candle making when introducing it to children. Whilst candle making can be enjoyed at any time of year, making your first candles with children for an occasion adds a further sense of excitement and enjoyment in both the candle making and for the event itself. Whether it’s a Christmas candle advent calendar, Easter egg candles or spooky pumpkins for Halloween, having a purpose in your children’s candle making will make everything even more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Hopefully by following these essential safety tips when candle making, you can enjoy this rewarding and incredibly fun hobby for yourself and with children. Being adventurous with colours and scents, as well as designs and special effects, you can introduce kids to this amazing hobby with the confidence that they are safe and the process as incident free as can be.
Remember, being safe is always better than being sorry, so before starting any candle making project with children, take all the above information into account so you and they can have a wonderful time without any accidents. If you want to get started with a project of your own and introduce kids to candle making, you can find everything you need at Cosy Owl supplies including fun, easy-to-follow candle making kits which include step by step guides to help you get started right away!