Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gettin' Crafty Post #5: Beaded Bracelets

For an introduction to this new series of Gettin' Crafty posts, visit Post #1.

Today's post is about a really simple craft recommended for ages three and up.

I. Supplies

Plastic Pony Bead Bracelets (from Oriental Trading)

Best Value Bead Bucket (from Discount School Supply)

Paper Bowls

II. Prep
I inherited the bucket of beads listed above from the previous children's librarian at my branch. I learned too late that the beads are a true assortment, with only about half of them actually being big enough for  the bracelets. So the morning before I put this craft out, I needed to sort out the beads that could be used and put them in bowls. This wasn't too bad, except that smaller beads from the bucket got stuck inside the larger ones, and I spent about half the time I was sorting pushing them out using the end of one of the bracelets. 

I definitely recommend buying just pony beads if you want to do this craft.

III. Instructions
I put a sign on the table inviting kids to make their own bracelets. I also included a disclaimer for adults, encouraging them not to allow babies and toddlers to participate. It seemed to work well enough - the little kids who did get their hands on beads were quickly redirected by their grownups. 

The kids who were the right age slid  their beads onto their bracelets into whichever patterns they liked, and then put their bracelets on. I was a little bit concerned that the kids would have a hard time fastening the clasps on the bracelets, but I had no complaints. The only issue we ran into was that we ran out of bracelets. But I have a policy that the craft continues while supplies last, so most latecomers know by now that when things run out, we don't have more. 

With the right beads, this is the easiest school-age craft on Earth, and I have another package of bracelets I plan to use very soon.

Next time: Paper Pizzas.

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