Saturday 7 April 2012


Montessori Activity: Blowing Candles

Idea from Singapore Wesley Methodist Church's Children's Ministry Little Lambs

Age: From 2.5 years old


1. To teach the concept of fire.
2. To teach how to handle fire safely.
3. To practise blowing candles during birthday


1. 1 toy birthday cakes with holes for candles
2. 2 - 4 candles depending on the age of your child
3. 1 lighter
4. 1 tray


1. Explain to your child the concept of blowing candles on birthday cake, that it is done after singing the Happy Birthday song

2. Insert 1 candle and invite your child to insert the rest.

3. Explain to your child that fire is dangerous and this activity should only be done in the presence of mommy. Then light the candles.

4. Light the candles and invite your child to blow the candles at the count of three. Repeat again.

5. Make sure that you put away the lighter away from the reach of your child after that.

IMPORTANT: This activity has to be supervised. The good thing about such an activity is that you take the novelty out of playing with fire in a safe way. Your child would not be as curious and tempted to play with fire, if he has been briefed and trained on how to handle them. Forbidden fruit always taste sweeter.

Additional Information:

I got this idea from the Singapore Wesley Methodist Church, when we visited it two years ago with J. This is how they celebrate the birthday of the children whose birthday once a month. They made their own birthday cake out of styrofoam and the children get to go to the front. They would sing the birthday song, and the birthday kids get to blow the candles after that. It is a hit with the children, as children find it thrilling to blow candles. It is also a very healthy way of celebrating birthday, since there are more than 50 children in the nursery, it would not be logistically feasible to be eating cakes so often.

I bought this wooden cake as maybe it could be used in our Church's nursery to celebrate the children's birthday. It came with fake wooden candles, but it can be easily substituted with real candles, which is the whole philosophy of Montessori - to use the real thing. J wasn't so good at blowing candles for the past 3 birthdays. Since I don't bake cakes and it is not healthy to eat so much cake in order to practise blowing candles, I decided to put it to good use and let him practise this as a Montessori activity on a toy cake.

J hadn't been very good at blowing candles during his one year old, two year old and his three year old birthday in March this year. I think this exercise would help him to practise how to blow candles. I got inspired by Wesley Methodist Church's Children Ministry. They celebrate the children's birthday each month, where all the birthday girls and boys get to blow the candles from the toy cakes and they get a small present. Something very simple (they are not even real cake), yet the children really enjoyed it.

J (3Y1M28D) tried this for the first time today, and it was a hit. Unlike the time during his birthdays, he was able to blow the candles very well. There were lots of fun and laughter.

You can buy something similar wooden toy birthday cakes that allow you to insert real candles in Amazon (but just don't buy the fake plastic ones such as Leapfrog with fake candles):

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