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Model Magic Bean Mosaic

Sweet Pea is 31 months old.


From: I had an old box of Crayola Model Magic which mentioned sticking objects to the material so this seemed like a good project for us.  And I always have beans on hand.  At first Sweet Pea just stuck the beans into flat pieces of the Model Magic, but then I had the idea to use a cookie cutter to help contain the beans while she applied them.



  • Crayola Model Magic.  (You could probably use regular air-dry clay too, but I haven’t tested that yet.)
  • One or more types of  beans or other small objects for sticking into the Model Magic.
  • Small cups for containing the beans.
  • Rolling Pin (optional).
  • Cookie Cutters  (optional).



  • Collect your supplies
  • Roll out a chunk of the Model Magic with a rolling pin or press it into a flat shape with your fingers.
  • Press the cookie cutter into the flattened model magic.  Leave the cookie cutter in place, but remove the excess dough from the outside edge.
  • Tell your tot that you are going to fill  the cookie cutter with beans and demonstrate carefully moving one bean from a cup to the inside of the cookie cutter.  Press hard on the bean to make it stick into the Model Magic.   Repeat if necessary and then let your tot have a turn.


  • After the inside of the cookie cutter has been filled with beans, remove the cookie cutter and view your Model Magic bean mosaic.


Observations: Sweet Pea had lots of fun with this.  It was the sort of project where we started with one idea (“Hmm.. Sweet Pea would probably like to play with this Model Magic that I bought 5 years ago for some other long-forgotten project.”)  and then kept mutating into something else (bean mosaic, butterfly shape, bean-butterfly mosaic) .


I would recommend  this activity for other tots, but I did think the model magic was a little on the expensive side for a one-shot project.


Yes, Sweet Pea often wears a tutu all day long.  Why do you ask?  🙂

Notes from the Trenches:

1) The Model Magic was very hard to roll out with Sweet Pea’s cheap hollow plastic toy rolling pin.  I had to bring out my heavy marble one to actually make it flat.  However, my Model Magic was easily 5 years old, so I think a fresher supply might have been easier to work with.

2) About halfway through the project, Sweet Pea got a bit impatient.  She dumped all of the seperate cups of beans into the cookie cutter and pressed down on them.  I choose to see this as excellent problem solving on her part.  Why spend 10 minutes on a project, when you can get it done in 10 seconds?


3) The package of Model Magic says that the entire pouch should be used at one time, as it does not keep well.  Since I really hated to waste it, I rolled all of the excess out flat and used my cookie cutters to create various shapes.  I am planning on letting Sweet Pea color these after they are totally dry.

4) Several beans fell off of the Model Magic when it was dried.  I don’t know if this was because it was old or we didn’t press hard enough, but leads me to…

5) Obviously, beans and other small objects are  a serious choking hazard.  Please supervise your tot.

Rating: 3 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Independent)


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