Melting Birthday Candles
This is the fourth lesson in the “What is melting?” Saturday Science unit. I am using the book Science is Simple by Peggy Ashbrook as a guide. Previously we have explored melting an “iceberg”, melting chocolate kisses, and melting ice cubes. This week we observed melting birthday candles. (Note: This activity is to be closely supervised by an adult.)
We started by placing a new birthday candle in a small container of wet sand. Then I lit the candle and we watched as it melted. The first time I lit the candle, Caden immediately blew it out. After I explained that we are going to watch the candle melt, I relit the candle. There must be something intriguing about watching a flame, because Caden watched that candle do nothing for a good while, and watch what would happen if he blew the flame a little.
We kept waiting for the wax to start dripping but it was taking too long. Three year olds only have so much patience you know? So I added a second candle to the sand that had already been lit. That red candle quickly did what I wanted it to do, start dripping wax.
After it was clear that the yellow candle wasn’t going to cooperate, I removed it from the container of wet sand, and we just watched the red candle as it dripped melting wax.
This is a very simple science activity. It took almost no time to prepare, but we observed it melting for a long time. As we watched the candle melt, I asked Caden some questions to guide his observations.
- What is happening to the candle?
- Do you see the wax dripping?
- Why is the candle dripping?
When we were done watching the candle melt, we blew out the flame and I let Caden handle the candle to get a better look at the melted wax. As you can see he was very interested the whole time.
And now it’s time for the Saturday Science Blog Hop!
Examining & Coloring Carnations Science Experiment from Little Bins for Little Hands
Magnetic: Yes or No? Experiment from P is for Preschooler
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