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Monday, September 14th, 2009

Make Your Own Lacing Beads

library-7826Beads are a favored activity at our house.  We started with preschool type chunky wooden lacing beads by Melissa and Doug.  They’re great wooden beads that are easy to manipulate but became too easy in short order.  Then we moved on to another Melissa and Doug kit that resulted in a number of pictures of teenie looking rather pathetic.  But after a while, we lost interest in those beads too.  So I started thinking.  Chase is always asking to make necklaces and bracelets for her friends and I always try to discourage her because either we don’t have anyone in particular to give it to or because if we give away all the beads then we won’t have anymore.  But you know what?  If the beads get boring and get dusty sitting on a shelf then what’s the point?  I might as well let her make up bracelets as gifts and give them away. 

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The beauty of that is that you can replace the beads for easily and they’re rather inexpensive.  That means not buying a Melissa and Doug kit and instead cruising the bead aisle at the craft store.  Nice wooden beads are probably more expensive than a giant sack of plastic beads like we have right now and I haven’t completed my investigation but I have no doubt that they’re out there for a reasonable price.  And now that I’m sitting here thinking about it, you could buy unfinished wooden beads and dye them a la Martha from the August(?) issue.  Or make dyed macaroni necklaces for pennies!  I think our current set up cost under $5.  

Anyway, the point is that there were tons of beads in the bead aisle suitable for little fingers.  You could use shoelaces but I picked up a 6 pack of children’sneedles that can be threaded with yarn.  I like the idea of Chase getting used to using a needle and thread.  Yes, I like this idea very much.  More generally activities like beading improves fine motor skills and gets kids ready for developing skills like holding a pencil and writing.  Then I tossed it all in a jar and put it on a shelf she can get to whenever the urge to do a little beading strikes her.  Next time a birthday comes around it’s going to include a bracelet for sure and maybe we’ll keep a few for dress up.  Why pay 5 bucks for a string of crappy plastic dress uo beads when you could have a whole bucket and make your own?  

One last picture of C acting silly and showing off her new clothes…

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