You know when you see some people sharing activities that they did with their kids, and you think to yourself...there is no way a toddler did that!! Am I the only one? Okay well let me reassure you that this is an activity that was truly so much fun and one that my three-year-olds did all by themselves!
I had seen these little beeswax luminaries from @littlepinelearners and @cheritabita and knew I wanted to make them myself but I never had any balloons! Then I saw @cheritabita made hers with avocado peels and my mind was BLOWN! Well my kids didn't want to eat guacamole for snack (despite my pleading) so we ended up using halved lemons (juice squeezed out) and they were perfect!
I cut the lemon, squeezed out the juice, poked one little hole in each side of each half and then threaded twine through to tie and make a little handle. Originally, I just thought of using the handle for dipping but then when we took the lemon out and I saw the wax had sealed around it, it became the perfect little hanging lantern!
Once your lemon is ready, melt your wax in a double boiler. I have a little junky saucepan that I bought in a thrift store for a couple bucks and have that as my dedicated wax pan. You can also try to put wax in an empty milk carton and put that in the hot water to melt the wax. Once it's all melted, it's time to dip! I left the wax in the hot water while we dipped so that it stayed melted for longer. The handle on the lemon makes it easier for little ones to dip and all you have to do is show them how to do it and let them dip away.
At first the girls wanted to let it swim in the wax but I did my best to encourage them to dip and lift to let it dry a little in between. Of course, supervision is necessary because it is hot wax but the girls did a great job of being mindful as they worked. How many dips did we do? I have no idea. Maybe 30? We did a lot of dipping so that it would be a strong little lantern. We set it on parchment paper when we were all done to dry.
To decorate them, you can use a little glue to add your pressed flowers or a little dot of wax to hold it all in place. We had pressed flowers from the summer on hand to decorate them. You can also dry flowers in the microwave if you have one! Once it was all decorated we dipped it once or twice more to seal the flowers in and set it to dry fully.
Once dry, you can slowly peel the lemon away, working your way around the whole thing. You'll notice that the string will still be attached so I actually pulled out the whole lemon and then cut it free by carefully cutting the lemon to release the string. ¡Voila! A cute little hanging beeswax lantern. We used little LED tea lights* to set inside ours and they have been so loved by the little crafters.
Spanish Words to Practice:
Linterna (leen-tehr-nah) - lantern
Cera (seh-rah) - wax
flores secas (floh-rehs seh-kahs) - dried flowers
Vela (beh-lah) - candle
*Show Amazon Affiliate links. You do not pay anything extra but Amazon will give me a teeny tiny commission from my referrals. I only recommend products that I have or will be buying myself!