This past week the Ashland Library gave out modeling beeswax in Take & Make Kits. Beeswax is a natural, beautifully smelling, and soothing medium to create with, but few people are familiar with it or how to use it.
At first glance it seems like a hard, stiff piece of wax.
Much of the frustration with using beeswax is simply the process of getting it soft enough to work with. There is a sort-of philosophy to the process of warming the wax, namely that in this fast-paced world, children have the opportunity to slow down and become more mindful while they work the wax to become soft enough to create with. It helps teach patience and perseverance. In today's COVID world, however, many of us are finding our patience spread a little thin, so speeding up the process a bit and allowing children to just get on with their creations seems like a suitable alternative.
The easiest way to do this is to just place the wax in a bowl of warm water. (Not too warm, or it will really melt!)
When it’s soft enough, you can begin to create! In this week’s Storytime Short, I read There is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems, so I thought I’d try my hand at sculpting a little Piggie out of beeswax.
Noticed I only used half a piece of beeswax, you don’t need much to create something fun. Also, the smaller the piece of wax, the easier it is to warm it up.
What is so neat about modeling beeswax is that you can use it over and over. If it gets a little dirty, just use mild soap and warm water to clean it.
Once you have finished working with the soft wax, it will harden into a solid form, but then just add it to warm water or hold it in your hand and it will gradually soften so you can start a new creation.
The other positive of using a material like beeswax for sculpting, is that It’s an opportunity for children to work on their fine motor skills through the rhythmic process of kneading. (The same is true for playdough and modeling clay.) This not only encourages dexterity, but also has a positive influence - like all rhythmic movements - on speech and thought development. In addition, it’s a great way to pass the time on a long car drive or a visit to the doctor's office!
Check out this week’s Storytime Short for another great way to pass the time, and the library catalog for a list of books that are just for fun.
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