The kids may not fully understand all that’s involved in “capillary action,” but it was a way to expose them to an idea that involves a scientific function. If nothing else, they enjoyed observing the candles up close and pouring the wax. It is also fun to touch once dried!
This craft demonstrated the capillary action in a candle. Before today, I had never heard of “capillary action,” but thanks to David Macaulay’s The Way Things Work, I was able to, at least, attempt explaining it to the kids. I described capillaries in our bodies by using straws as a visual. Then the fun began.
*Notice the difference between the older child’s finished product and that of the younger. Little sis wanted to add yellow strips of paper as rays of light.
Here are the steps involved to make this craft:
- Observe a burning candle
- Section off the shape of craft candle on paper using tape (or anything else to help keep the wax where you want it)
- Place a string or portion of a pipe cleaner where the wick ought to be
- Blow out candle
- Slowly pour wax in candle section craft
- Once wax has cooled enough to begin hardening but is still pliable, take a knife to cut along inside of tape to ensure straight edges for candle (parents may want to do this step)
- Remove tape
- Add yellow, orange, or red paper cut in the shape of a flame above the “wick”
“Burn, baby, burn!” is not a comforting statement with this activity, but saying “Capillary action, baby, capillary action!” is just too much of a mouthful. How about “I see the light…” How about not say anything at all. 😉