My older two children are on half term break. We've had a few stormy and crazy windy days, so they've spent more time than usual inside (we still aim for at least three hours a day outdoors). I love to try new art materials with them and I've been holding onto this gorgeous beeswax modelling clay for just the right opportunity. It is a beeswax clay, not a pure modelling beeswax that you might have seen before. It is also at the higher price range so I wanted to share our experience in case you have thought about using it but weren't sure.
When we first opened the package I had my doubts. The beeswax clay looked hard and dry. But you if you give it a chance you will be rewarded! Tear off a small piece and in two to three minutes in your hand it will be silky smooth and pliable. I love the texture, it's not like modelling beeswax and it's not like clay, it's actually better than both. It is smooth not gritty like clay and you can get a nicer, smoother finish.
I've used this with Otis (8yrs) while Otto (25 months) sat with us using play-dough, although occasionally having a play with his brother's clay. I would recommend from 3-5 years with parent involvement but five years+ to use independently. Artistic minded teenagers and adults would find this an enjoyable medium too. I placed a small bowl of warm water near Otis so he could warm his hands. I found the beeswax clay wasn't sticky and didn't leave any colour or residue on the table/work board.
Why we love it:
- It is softer than pure modelling beeswax.
- Is a genuine coloured clay made from a combination of pure beeswax and naturally coloured clay. Allows for connection between our natural resources and our art supplies, the closer to nature the better.
- Firmer than clay requires "will force and active participation".
- A natural alternative to petroleum based plasticine.
- Stays pliable when exposed to the air and can be reused over and over again. Will not harden like air-dry clay.
- Is super smooth to use. Feels lovely.
- Has a super light smell, which is a little like warm beeswax scent.
- Supplied and packaged plastic free, it doesn't need to be wrapped in plastic or kept in an air tight container. It arrives packaged in a simple cardboard box.
- Encourages small work, lots of rolling and pressing and pinching. Requires the use and development of fine motor skills and results in deep concentration and 'flow'.
- The earthy tones are soothing.
- Will last a long time (if kept clean). Teaches the children to treat their art supplies with care and respect.
- Suitable for the Montessori, Reggio or Waldorf art shelves or Atelier.
- Alkena is a partner with the Climate Protection Partnership and is a MyClimate neutral product.
- It's an all round feel good product.
"In a therapeutic setting it engages and strengthens the will forces in active doing. Where there is too much nervous activity it provides an outlet through occupying the hands. In the office and the boardroom it is an effective destressor." - Rudolf Steiner Book Centre.
The beeswax clay is a natural modelling clay made in Switzerland. It is available in three earthy tones: red, yellow, and brown. Pictured are the yellow and brown tones. The only down side is the cost and it could be cost prohibitive to use on a large scale. If you are using it with a young child I suggest spending some time warming it up and softening the clay in your own hands first. Once it is warm it is super pliable and soft.
Alkena Beeswax Clay is available at Waldorf supply stores but also at some natural learning stores like The Small Folk and Dragonfly Toys in Australia, Myriad Natural Toys and Crafts in the UK. Available at Waldorf Toys in the EU, Nest in Canada. Available at Mercurius worldwide, US link here. At Imagine Childhood in the US. It would be a lovely gift for friends that are hard to buy for, or that enjoy natural products or as a stocking suffer!
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