Last year for my son’s 2nd birthday, my daughter and I had a blast creating a Wax Resist Cake Painting for him! With a birthday candle, I wrote 生日快乐 (Happy Birthday in Chinese) and drew the cake. Meanwhile, my daughter drew the balloons and had fun choosing the colors! Both kids loved watching the words and cake drawing appear magically!
Because this was such a hit, we have used the wax resist painting method to write surprise messages to each other! We have tried white-crayon resist painting, but the results are not compared to wax. In addition, we have had fun with glue resist (see our Moon Phases and Chalk Eggs activities). Although the texture of dry glue is very fun, the glue might take on the paint color when it’s wet.
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Benefits of wax resist painting:
- Process art encourages kids to let loose and explore without the confines of boundaries
- Reluctant readers may be motivated by the element of a personal surprise
- Fun way to encourage writing
- Even children who are too young to read/write can enjoy the drawing and art!
Since my kids are learning both Chinese and Korean as minority languages, we can make those languages exciting with simple activities like wax resist painting! Otherwise, everybody prefers English, our native language. Wax resist painting is also a wonderful process art activity for children, and the method celebrates the journey of creating!
Here is a close-up look at how to set up wax resist painting invitations for your children. Be sure to check out our video of the process at the end of the post!
Wax Resist Painting – What you need:
- White candle: We used a birthday candle, I think a white candlestick would be better so that there is more wax before hitting the candlewick
- Watercolor paint
- Watercolor paper
- Painter’s tape to prevent the paper from moving on the table
Wax Resist Painting – How to Make Surprise Messages and Drawings
- Write words and draw designs very lightly with pencil
- Trace over pencil with candle wax
- Paint to your heart’s desire!
- Let your child decide which colors to use and take the reins with painting.
- Ask your child to guess what the painting will reveal.
- After the activity, discuss why the colors were chosen and describe what you see to encourage observation, reflection, and communication.
- Offer the wax candle for them to write or draw secret messages!
Birthday Cake Wax Resist Painting Video!
Here is our video of the Birthday Cake Wax Resist Painting! Turn on volume for the Happy Birthday music in Chinese from A Little Mandarin!
Hope you can enjoy the wax resist process art activity with your family!
Birthday activities for kids
- Cardboard Birthday Cake Puzzle Craft + Happy Birthday Lyrics in Chinese & English!
- 3-D Birthday Cupcake Cards Sight Word Matching Activity!
More educational process art activities for children
- Cloth Painting with Pipettes: A Fine Motor & Science Activity for Kids!
- Moon Phases Glue Resist Watercolor Painting Activity!
- Tape Resist Word Art for Kids!
- Mystery Color Transfer and Sight Word Magic Activity
- Eric Carle 画一个星星给我 (Draw Me a Star) – Book Review & Activity!
Fun hands-on learning activities
To see all activities by topic, please bookmark our hands-on learning activities menu for your planning convenience!
Happy playful learning, friends!