If you are teaching children about clay tablets used thousands of years ago as writing tablets, you can have them make their own. Creating a writing tablet is easy, but you will have to melt and pour the wax for the children. Tell the children that just like a clay tablet, when they use this writing tablet, their words cannot be erased unless more wax is poured over the top. The finished writing can be hung on a wall as a picture, and you will already have it in a frame.
Things You'll Need
- Per tablet:
- Picture frame (remove the glass)
- Beeswax (found in the candle-making aisle at hobby or craft centers)
- Saucepan (choose a throw-away pan)
- Old spoon (for non-food applications)
- 5 mm dowel, about 8 to 10 inches long
- Pencil sharpener
- Sand paper
- Clear packing tape
Remove the glass from the picture frame if you have not yet done so, but leave the cardboard backing card in. Turn the frame onto its back, and seal the gap between the back and the frame with the clear packing tape. Turn the frame to the front and tape the gaps around the inside edge of the frame between the cardboard inside and the frame.
Place the beeswax in the saucepan over low heat and melt, stirring as the wax melts to prevent burning. Pour a small amount of the wax into the frame. Let the children pick up the frame and tilt it to let the wax pour evenly over the cardboard inside the frame. Place the frame on a flat surface to allow this first layer to cool and harden.
After 2 to 3 minutes, the wax in the frame will be cool. Pour another layer of wax on top. Pour enough wax this time so that the wax comes up to the level of the frame. Set aside on a flat surface to cool completely.
Let the children use the sandpaper to smooth a dowel end. Sharpen the other end with the pencil sharpener. This will be the stylus used to write on the tablet. Tell the children to use the stylus to carve writing into the wax that's in the frame. Their writing will remain in the wax unless another layer of wax is poured over it.
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