Fine Motor Skill Development, Counting and Pattern Making in One Simple Activity: Beading
We set out to make necklaces and what began as a craft activity, turned into a great learning experience as well. As is often the case when making and creating with kids. Abby was very excited at the prospect of making her own necklace and that excitement rubbed off on me. I had to make one too, because why not? I’m really enjoying our days together and feeling good about ‘working’ less to keep her home until she starts school in kindergarten. The rate at which both of my kids are growing is glaring me in the face. All of those past annoying mantras and expressions about the early years being such a fleeting time that we (moms, parents) really should cherish are starting to be less annoying. So I’m savouring. I’m cherishing. I’m positive she is too, given the amount of times she vocalized very precisely not wanting to go to preschool anymore and to stay home with me. It was an everyday occurrence. While I may not savour working more in the evenings, now that my days are mostly filled with playing with her and teaching her … I am extremely privileged in that I can make this happen for us; that I do work from home and that I have a flexible schedule to give us these next 6 months together.
The Developmental and Emotional Benefits of Beading With Kids
- Fine | Visual Motor Skills: grasping, in-hand manipulation skills, eye-hand co-ordination
- Visual Perception: scanning and using their visual memory to make patterns
- Cognitive Skills: math and planning
- Benefits: well ya know…improved skills in all of the areas mentioned above, as well as getting dressed: doing up their own buttons, (obviously not after ONE beading sesh together, but make it a regular activity and BOOM, more self-sufficient kids. You’re welcome) improved pencil, crayon and paint-brush grasp for writing and art making. Improved sense of confidence and accomplishment. Perhaps the biggest benefit of all? Spending time with YOU! Creating something with your child is a great way to bond with them. Playing with our kids is an everyday way to bring up their serotonin levels. It has been proven time and again, that they have a psychological and physical approach to spending time with us that they don’t have with other people! Endorphins let loose and spirits soar.
What You’ll Need:
Together, pick out your beads and other materials similar to what’s shown above. Depending on the age of your child (Abby is 3.5) you may want to get in on the action and make on for yourself … or your child may require more assistance, and you’ll opt out of making your own. I have a big selection to choose from so it was as simple as going downstairs to the ‘office-studio’ to choose our materials. Because I’m a crafty wench like that. A trip to the dollar store and/or your local craft store will get you all that you need. Yarn and pony beads specifically, way cheaper at the dollar store. Wooden and semi precious stones? Obviously not available at the dollar store, nor will animal hyde be. I always have hyde on hand for making dreamcatchers, or sleeves. I want to make moccasins soon! Wearing crowns is optional, but highly advised.
Help your child create a pattern on the table of what they want to bead, plan it out. Let them help you plan out yours too and get beading! You’ll note I used a beading needle and cut very thin strip of the hyde to feed through my beads. Options are endless for yourself. Pony beads and other beads with big holes are a great place to start for kids new to beading and choosing a fun sparkly yarn always goes over well.
Create a sliding barrel knot, on you child’s necklace. It’s a simple one that allows you the adjust the length of the necklace. < Click the link for a YouTube tutorial! If you’re feeling adventurous like I was, you can cut more thin strips of hyde to knot close to each side of where the beads end on your own necklace (see images below). I love braiding hyde, so I implemented that into my necklace design and since Abby is a bit older, she loved learning how to braid. Yes, it slowed the process up quite a bit and she only did a bit of it; that’s the whole point. Finish your own off with a sliding barrel knot and you’re both done!