Miss R, at age six, is extremely fascinated by rocks, crystals, jewels and science in general. This is a project idea that she made up herself, after watching this experiment on Youtube for making your own lava lamp. She wanted to make a lava lamp for her bedroom, but I explained that the experiment she saw was not a real lava lamp, just a soluble tablet churning up oil and coloured water. A real lava lamp, I told her, has melted blobs of wax floating around inside a lit-up lamp filled with hot water. When the lamp is switched off and cools down the wax blobs turn hard. This is what gave her the idea to melt candle wax into a jar of water, to get cool blobby shapes of her own that she could hold and keep. Of course, as many or our crafts do, the experiment needed to involve plenty of glitter. The results were quite striking, and better than I expected. Here is how you can make your own sparkly “wax gems” at home.
You will need:
• A candle
• A jar of water
• Glitter in your favourite colour (or two)
• Matches or a cigarette lighter
• Paper towel or a clean tea towel
Sprinkle glitter into the water, it should all sit floating on top of the water. Then light the candle and, holding it sideways over the jar, let drops of wax fall into the water. You’ll need lots of drops to make a wax gem.
Once you have a large-sized blob of wax in the jar like in the picture above, screw the lid tightly on the jar and give it a good shake.
Take the lid off and use a tea spoon to remove the wax gems from the jar and leave them to drain on the paper towel. They will be all sparkly and should be completely cool after being shaken around in the cold glitter water.
Make some more and mix the glitter colours up and see what results you get. Miss R was very pleased with her sparkly jewels!
Each one is pretty and unique, and it is interesting how all the bubbly blobs make patterns on the front of the jewel.
Obviously, it is up to the parents’ discretion on whether you think your kids are mature enough to hold lit candles and let them drip into the water. Miss R managed this no problem, but I needed to light the candles for her, and would certainly recommend constant supervision by a responsible adult with this activity.