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Beeswax Modeling

Ingredients: Organic beeswax, olive oil, and lanolin.

How do we get this stuff to soften up? Put the wax in very warm water (but not boiling hot) for 5-10 minutes before use.

Why beeswax? In Waldorf early childhood development, every effort is made to give children sensory experiences using high-quality, natural materials. Beeswax has a wonderful smell when warmed up in the hands, but it also reflects the warmth of the hands back to the child, unlike clay, which is cold and clammy to the touch. Beeswax never dries out or cracks, and can be re-worked again and again. It’s also a nice way to introduce children to the wonder of bees and their many gifts to our world.

Ideas for use:

  • For a child to use while listening to a story you read or tell. It can help squirmy children settle down and tune in a bit better.
  • To explore the seasons together, say making acorns in the Fall, little bees in the Spring, berries in the Summer, bears sleeping in the Winter.
  • If making the wax “look like” something is a source of frustration, try simply making balls and bowls to gain awareness of opposites and the various “uses” of shapes around us.
  • Make “feeling sculptures” with the wax, where the goal isn’t the finished product, but a conversation about why a certain shape does or does not reflect what your little person is feeling. Helps keep the conversation away from abstract ideas to ones a child can readily identify for him or herself, like “I feel spiky in my heart,” or “I feel wavy in my legs,” etc.
  • For basic math functions, like addition and subtraction, make objects (dinosaur eggs, say) and act out the math equation. Or, for learning letters and their orientation, you can sculpt the letters together, capital and lower case.