Students across Nelson are creatively building vessels for tealight candles which they will pair with a wish and set free on Queen's Gardens' pond on Thursday.
The second annual Float a Wish event, part of the Light Nelson festival, will be widened this year to allow larger, class-built lanterns as well as individual ones.
Students are encouraged to get creative with their decorations, using any form of biodegradable base, including paper plates and puka leaves.
The St Vincent room at Auckland Point School is taking its creations to the next level by building papier mache lanterns.
The year two and three class began by gluing paper to a balloon, letting it dry and then popping and removing the balloon from the inside.
This left a shell, which was free for the students to decorate however they wished.
"The main things I wanted to teach the kids were about creativity and biodegradability," said teacher Jill Hawskwell.
"I've been teaching them things like if they throw litter, it goes down to the sea and animals get poorly and things like that," she said.
Hawkswell said she hopes all children get to see their lanterns off, but said if families are stuck she will take her pupils with her and "make a nice evening out of it".
Float a Wish encourages children to think of wishes for the community by asking what they think will make Nelson a better place, said co-ordinator Hilary Johnstone.
She said the only guideline is that the materials used are to be biodegradable, but schools are free to explore concepts like balance and floatation when building their rafts.
Wishes from children at Auckland Point include: "I wish there was 100 birthdays during the year for everyone" and a child from Central School is wishing "for kids to be kind to those from different religions".
All children at Hira School are wishing for trucks to slow down outside their school so they feel safer.
Float a Wish will begin after a blessing from Archdeacon Harvey Ruru at Queen's Gardens on Thursday, July 3, at 6pm.
- The Nelson Mail
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