Rainy day activities with beads!
Last week the weather was lousy and the kids where bored. I had a bunch of loose beads lying around from a previous project I had worked on. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough beads for everyone so I had to go to the craft store to buy beads. I usually find myself buying bulk beads whenever I buy more. There is just so many varieties of beads. A whole cornucopia to choose from. I ended up getting a variety of beads in several sizes and colors.
Once I returned home I set up the table for the kids. I find using small bowls or cups to put the beads into helps keep them from ending up all over the floor. After asking the kids what they would like to make they decided on necklaces and bracelets. I didn’t have any string around the house that was thin enough so the kids could easily get it through the center of the beads so I went with good old dental floss.
First up I had to show them how to get the correct length of floss for the necklaces. Since floss is so light I find it best if you put one or two beads on the floss so it adds a little weight and then just let them decide how far down they want their necklaces to hang. Make sure to add a few inches for tying it off.
After we had all the floss cut to size I had them all pick out some colors to use. This turned into mayhem and I decided it was a good idea suggest they choose a pattern of colors. It was very interesting to see them think of and design patterns with the colors they like. The younger one was having difficulty in threading the floss through the beads and was getting frustrated but after showing her that if she licks the floss it helps straighten it out and to take her time trying to get it through the bead. She eventually got the hang of it and had a blast!
Next up we decided to do bracelets. This time they decided to make the bracelets out of solid colors and not use a pattern. Bracelets are little trickier to measure the length out because they need to slip over the wrist with easy but not be so loose that it slips of while flaring your arm around. What I ended up doing was quickly making a bracelet I would use for measuring their own. This way we would know the proper length of the floss when all the beads where on.
All in all we killed 2 hours and I spent less than $10. The kids had a blast and learned about making things with their hands. It was also a fun way for them to learn about colors and patterns in design.