Tired of filling your kitchen with the scent of boiled vinegar just in time for guests? Vacuumed enough glitter out of the carpet already? Still trying to get last year's "egg decorating pen" marks off the table?
Maybe it's time to try decorating that mountain of hard boiled eggs with sweet-smelling, all-natural beeswax sheets in bright, translucent colors. Beeswax is a completely open-ended, non-toxic modeling material that kids of different ages can each use in an age-appropriate way.
It's too late to order online but Sonoma County families still have time to drive over to Earth Child in Sebastopol, where decorating beeswax is sold for .99 cents per sheet. If you've tried decorating beeswax before, you already know that warming up the wax to a workable consistency is the only drawback. When beeswax is applied to eggs still warm from boiling, the egg warms the wax so children don't have to!
If you have very young children (who don't yet understand how to use art materials economically) plan on about $10 per dozen eggs; older kids and adults can easily decorate a couple of dozen eggs for the same amount. With no wrong outcome, and every egg a piece of art, decorating eggs with beeswax is a great extended family project!
Get the younger children and elders started first, while eggs are still quite warm. Cover remaining eggs with a towel to hold in the heat and keep them warm enough to soften the beeswax.
Ages 2-3: While eggs are boiling, young children can press shapes out of a beeswax sheet with small seasonal cookie cutters (perhaps with adult help). As soon as eggs are cool enough to handle, children can apply shapes to the warm eggshell, just like stickers.
Ages 4-6: Children with plenty of scissors experience can cut beeswax shapes with scissors; fancy-edged scrapbooking scissors are great (wax comes off scissors in hot water). Kids who have mastered a pencil can cut fanciful shapes using a toothpick, with or without a stencil.
Ages 7 and up: Older kids may start with cut-out shapes of one kind or another, but they soon notice the warm wax offers so much more. Children with lots of clay experience will be quite happy with a dish filled with the colorful bits and pieces the younger children left behind.
Some ways to manipulate beeswax on a warm egg:
- Pushing applied wax with a fingertip can change the shape and lighten the color.
- Colors can be layered over each other to make new colors.
- Words and shapes can be etched out of thickly applied wax with a toothpick.
- Bits can be rolled between the palms to make "snakes" to coil around the egg shell.
- Round balls can be pressed flat to make polka dots.
Find Stockmar Decorating Beeswax Sheets at:
Earth Child Waldorf Toys
200 South Main St. #110
Sebastopol, CA 95472 (Map)
The store is open Monday - Saturday 10AM -6PM, Sunday 11 - 4.