Beading Made Easy For Little Hands

beading with toddlers Beading is such an awesome fine motor activity because it combines so many skills that young kids are working to master. It works on pincer grasp and hand eye coordination while placing the beads on the string or ribbon but you can work in patterning, color recognition, and counting too.  The problem with beading though is that it can frustrate children easily. You must strike a balance of challenge and success to avoid melt downs, or kids just deciding that the activity is no fun.  Below you will see how I set up beading with my daughter who will bead for ages provided she can do it with little help. Over the years doing beading projects with preschoolers have taught me a few tricks to make it a smooth process and I am sharing them with you.

Gather your materials. You will need some ribbon, painter’s tape, clear tape, ribbon ( ours was about an inch thick) , milk shake straws, and scissors. beading activity for preschool

Start by cutting your straws into smaller pieces. Adjust the length according to the age and ability of your child. beading

Cut your ribbon to the size you want and tape one end to the table using painters tape. This prevents the beads from falling off the end . Also using a thicker ribbon makes it so that if your child does drop the end the beads won’t come flying off. beading made easy for preschool

Before you invite your little one to come bead use the regular tape to cinch the ribbon into a needle. This gives your child a stiffer piece to thread with. beading tips for preschool

Time to bead. With the steps we took to avoid frustration the activity was smooth and pretty quick too. beading necklace

Best of all was how proud she was of her accomplishment and since she made the necklace all by herself withe the exception of tying the ends together it really felt like an independent accomplishment.  Then she was off to play with her garlic press and bulldozer. Bet you never thought you’d hear those two words in the same sentence. Kids are rad. beading and threading activities for kids

Do you have any tips for beading with kids ? I would love to hear them !


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  1. Stella says

    I dye pasta using some alcohol and shiny paint.
    You’ll need:
    Large zip lick bag
    About 1\2-1 tsp. of alcohol ( depends on amount of pasta)
    Some paint, I use shiny tempura paint it comes out nice.
    Mix all ingredients in zip lock bag and make sure pasta is covered.
    Spread out on aluminum foil or wax paper let dry.
    Then I use yarn and tie a colorful button on one end (this keeps the noodles from falling out)
    I put tape on the ends to give them a point to work with.
    They love this, I work on patterns with them. You can add their name to the noodles also so the land in the middle of their necklace.
    Just have FUN!

  2. Grandma Kay says

    I have a big butter tub full of the Large Perler beads, the ones you put on a peg grid then melt with an iron to fuse the design, but I use them mainly for bead threading with my grand kids. I started it with the 6 year old and 1 year old to make a Mother’s Day gift from them to their mom, my daughter. I used black 18 inch wire ties, the ones for bundling electronic cables. Much easier to manipulate without frustration and it makes a cute bangle bracelet. So now the 3 year old can sit and thread beads with minimum supervision. Best done sitting on an area rug because no matter how many times I suggest the beads stay in the bucket, they always seem to get poured out! The rug keeps the beads confined better than tables or floors. They also become beans or something in little cookware in her kitchen. They get poured from one container into another and become extended playtime.

  3. Sandra says

    I use shoe laces to let them put pony beads on. Every pair of Skechers me and the kids get always have two pair of laces so I just let them pick which kind they like and bring the extra pair to the center.


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