create (with kids): straw beads for tiny tots

By freshlyplanted - 9:25 PM

We have begun our Fall with a visit from our dear old friend Stomach Bug. We were gracious at first, thinking she'd only stay for a day or two. However she decided to nest a bit, and it's only now- a week later- we're sending her on her way. Thankfully just the kids and I are the worse for her visit- Cory, who has to teach and function in the real world, was spared. We've been spending a lot of time resting- doing laundry- and, of course, doing crafts. Because on the days that the Mama feels the worse, her kiddos will of course be especially sprightly and need lots to do! This craft is perfect for just those days- you only need paper labels, straws, and any drawing medium.

Quick back history: As I shared a few Wednesdays ago, here, I was having trouble adapting a paper bead project I used to do with older students. We used to take strips of magazine and wind them around straws to create beads. Simple enough, right? Not for little fingers- it took a lot of help to create the beads above. 

And I'm happy to help, but I really wanted to give my "do it myself" little gal the chance to do just that. Then I thought about paper labels- wrapped around the straw they create the perfect drawing surface.

Isia drew on her beads with marker, but you could really use any drawing or painting medium. You could use collage materials too, including stickers- wouldn't little foil stars be sweet?

When she was finished decorating them, I wrapped the straws with mailing tape before cutting them into beads. You could also Mod-Podge them or enjoy them without sealing them at all.

I then gave her a long piece of yarn to string them onto. I had taped one end to make it easier to string on her many beads...

...and her attention lasted until each and every bead had found its special place. I ended up cutting a few little pieces of plain straw too, just for contrast, and offering them to her.

The finished necklace! Straws and paper labels at their finest, I think. And busy little hands help for a rested Mama. (wink)

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