Floating Wishes – Fun Activity for Kids and Adults

floating wishes, flying dreams, fun family activities, fun youth group activities, activity for churches, sunday school activities, blessingways, activities for families, family rituals, traditionsFloating wishes has become a tradition for Valentine’s Day in our family but could be used for birthdays, New Year’s goals, Blessingways, or to mark any special celebration or ordinary day. It’s a fun activity for kids and adults alike.

How to Make Floating Wishes:

1. Cut squares out of any color tissue paper you like.

Match the color to the theme of your event or celebration. Cut the squares about 3″ x 3″ with very even edges to help them stand up later.

2. Pass out the tissue paper squares and pencils and write on the squares.

Distribute the papers to your guests or family and ask them to write their wish, dream, prayer, gently with the pencil on the tissue paper.

You may provide different directions to your participants depending on the occasion. For example, this Valentine’s Day, Anna handed out three pieces of hot pink tissue paper to each family member and told us that one was for a wish, one was for a dream and one was a thought for the world.

If you used this for a church retreat or youth activity, perhaps you’d have everyone write a general prayer or one a specific person or cause. As a part of a Blessingway for moms-to-be, you might have everyone write a special thought for the new mother, the new baby and her family.

 3. Roll the paper up around a pencil.

Use the pencil and roll the tissue paper into a tight tube around the pencil. When you take it off it wishing papers, lighting tissue paper on fire, floating dreams, sending prayers to heavenwill loosen, that’s okay, but you want it to be able to stand up on one side like a toilet paper tube.

Place the rolled paper one or two at a time onto a steady, burn-resistant surface. We use a dinner or dessert plate.

4. Light the top edge of the rolled paper.

With a match, light the top edges of the papers and watch ….

5. Enjoy the magic of floating wishes!

We still gasp and marvel at the moment when our wishes and prayers take flight. It’s so unexpected and marvelous! Once they’re in the air, don’t worry, the paper, transformed to a weightless grey poof, will glide back down. Ali, Michael and Anna always try to catch their floating paper as it descends.

© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2014

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10 Responses to Floating Wishes – Fun Activity for Kids and Adults

  1. Rock-Paper-Snips says:

    I love this! Reminds me of when I was a kid sitting around the table with my big Italian family lighting the Ameretti cookie wrappers on fire. I remember thinking my dad was magic! I love how your family celebrates life!

    • ldecesare says:

      How cool that your dad did that with the cookie wrappers! I first saw this as part of a leadership meeting when I served on the DONA International board. I was amazed and had to bring it home for the kids to enjoy, too!

  2. Joan Heath says:

    What about something catching on fire, seems like it would be safer outside.
    Having seem what fire can do to a home, or child playing with matches. I’m concerned.

    • ldecesare says:

      Sorry for my late reply! I’ve been off this site for the summer. I’d absolutely have this be a supervised activity!
      We did it inside in February (in the northeast) and we start on a plate so that it doesn’t burn the table or anything. There is not much real fire as the paper burns – then it’s out as the paper lifts off. If you’re concerned – try it outside but I’d caution you with wind or if it’s too dry outside – just in case. What you get is really like a floating ash-blob! 🙂

  3. Korin says:

    What kind of paper did you use and where did you get it? Would love to know and do this!

    • ldecesare says:

      I used just regular gift wrapping tissue paper. I know there’s a company out there that sells squares already cute for this purpose but I cannot remember the name of it … sorry! Hope it works for you, seems people are having some trouble. Keep trying! 😉

  4. Andrea says:

    Hi there! It’s not working for me! Just regular tissue paper? how do you get it to stand? Mine falls over overtime it gets closer to the bottom.

    • ldecesare says:

      Bummer! Try to roll it pretty tightly – and yes – we used regular tissue paper. Maybe something that’s slightly thicker if it’s not working …? Let me know how it goes!

  5. dana luong says:

    is this regular tissue paper?
    i’ve tried and it doesn’t float

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