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Modeling with Beeswax

Now that Nora is officially 2.5-years-old, I can seen signs that she is moving on from toddlerhood and moving into the so called "conscious absorbent mind" of the 3 to 6-year-olds. With this transformation, I have been very aware that writing and reading are right around the corner. 


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With these observations, I want to make sure I'm finding new ways to engage Nora to keep up with her interests. And one thing I've noticed is how interested she is in things that require hand strength. She was starting to squeeze and pinch everything, exploring how her fingers could really grip the world around her. 

At this point, I knew I wanted to introduce some sort of new modeling clay to her. While she has used playdoh since around 1-year-old, I wanted something a bit more mature. As I searched for an appropriate clay, I came across these beeswax modeling strips. And, after making beeswax candles for Christmas, I knew this was exactly what I was looking for.

Unlike other types of modeling clay, beeswax work is slow and deliberate. The beeswax must be warmed in your hands before it becomes pliable. Only then can it be molded, smooshed, pinched, and pulled. Plus it smells heavenly in your hands and doesn't require any additional tools. This has made it the perfect work to just sit in a jar on our art shelves, inviting the fine motor work Nora is craving. 


Once you have molded the beeswax, it will harden back up again. Henry (nearly 6) loves this aspect of it because his creations are perfectly preserved. But, for Nora, its perfect because then the beeswax is completely ready to use again right from the start. She can just throw it back in the jar without additional concerns.


I went with Stockmar Beeswax in the primary colors. Much to my delight, they colors will blend to form secondary colors if kneaded enough. I foresee many years of beeswax modeling in our future after this discovery! 

Have you ever used beeswax for modeling work? What types of fine motor skills does your 2-year-old enjoy?

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