Mardi Gras Candy Necklaces

twizzler candy necklaces for parties Fat Tuesday is March 4th this year and even though we don’t have any Mardi Gras parades locally I have been telling my kids all about it and showing them photos of the different parades and explaining how beads and other trinkets are thrown from the floats. We decided to make our own beads from purple, yellow and green Twizzlers. My daughter was game from the start but my son was not into the idea until his sister came down stairs and said I was letting her eat her finished necklace. Then he came up asking if he could make one too and honest to goodness I have never seen a child bead that quickly! These candy necklaces are fun ( and include a great patterning lesson) and could be made as party treats with any combination of colors.

Gather your materials. You will need some multi-colored Twizzlers , some stiff beading thread, scissors and tape. DIY candy necklaces

Cut your Twizzlers into beads. Even if the ends stick together you can give them a squeeze and the hole will reappear. mardi gras necklace craft

Tape the end of your beading thread down and start beading. edible mardi gras beadsMy daughter was very serious about beading.  But even a serious 3 year old may ask for help. I helped her when the steam started wearing off. I would give her a number to bead then I would add three pieces on and so on. Not only were we working as a team she was working on her math skills as well. mardi gras necklaces for kids

Once it’s long enough to slip over her head easily tie the ends and voila! mardi gras necklace for kidsAs I was cleaning up my son came up to the playroom and decided he wasn’t too cool to bead after all. mardi gras twizzler beads

I loved how he was doing it. I should have taken a video because the accompanying sound effects were stellar. mardi gras pattern necklaces

Don’t forget these are tasty too! edible mardi gras twizzler necklaces

Do you have Mardi Gras traditions you share with your kids? If you are planning on making pancakes I shared some great tips about cooking with kids over on Melissa & Doug yesterday.

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 !

 

Recycled Book Order Beads!

recycled bead necklace 004

If your child is school age or if you are lucky enough to get book orders at your preschool or childcare center this craft is for you!  Of course you can also use newspaper , but the book orders are so colorful!  So grab whatever you have,  and make a pretty necklace, or bracelet for Earth Day tomorrow.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some colorful newspaper or Scholastic Book Order fliers, some ribbon, some elastic bands, white glue and scissors.recycled beads
  2. Roll your paper starting from the open ends so when you glue the end it’s one piece not a bunch of pages fanning out, I made two one this way one the other and the other one was  big huge flop . Glue the edge.recycled beads
  3. Add elastics to keep it in place and let dry- mine only took 2 hours to dry, I would expect 2-4 for a good bond. recycled beads
  4. Cut into beads. recycled beads
  5. Thread it onto your ribbon.  If you really want to make a cool bracelet cut those elastics you already used , tie them together and strong the beads on to make an elastic bracelet. I would only do this with an older child though, as it could snap easily, but if they are old enough it would be rad!recycled beads
  6. Voila a recycled bead necklace! recycled bead necklace

Like this idea but have a toddler? Try our  Toilet roll necklace instead!

Easy Beaded Bracelet

summer camp crafts
I made these all the time as a preteen and with the school year coming to a close I thought I better share some more “big kid” projects for all the older kids of my regular readers. Beading offers a great lesson in patience, fine motor control and patterning. This is easy to do but is adorable, I have been wearing this bracelet around town .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some seed beads, beading wire, a magnetic or latch clasp, and a small plate or am old yogurt lid works great.
  2. Start by cutting off two pieces of wire, about 2 feet long each. Tie together.
  3. Next secure that to one clasp. I don’t have a set way of doing this, I just tie it on- tug and make a few more knots if it’s loose. trim the ends but not too short because we will be hiding them in the first few beads.
  4. Start adding beads to both strings- so one bead goes over both wires. Carefully thread the end bits of the wires through as well. Repeat with as many beads as needed to cover the end bits.
  5. String 8-12 beads on one wire.
  6. Repeat on the other wire
  7. Now thread both wires through 1 bead. This will make the loop.
  8. Continue until you have enough for a full bracelet. I re did mine 4 times before I liked my pattern, make sure you let your child know that the best part of making something themselves is that there is no right way, if they don’t like the pattern, start again.
  9. Tie on your other clasp and you are good to go. I tucked the wires into the last few beads , so if you want to do that you need to keep the ends a little long so you can handle them.
Naptime Books!I am looking for some guest reviewers for chapter books. If your school age child and you would like to review a book you’ve read please email me with the title, the author , your review , first name and age. The review should be a paragraph or two long .I will be doing 2-3 of these special posts throughout the summer.

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