After school, I find that having a little decompression time with a snack and a craft makes the rest of the afternoon easier. And having some kid-friendly craft supplies on hand makes for a smooth transition from after-school growly faces to calm, creative, happy faces. Learning how to make a beaded bracelet is the perfect activity for a rainy afternoon stuck inside.
“Oh, making some bracelets for ourselves and our dolls.”
“You’re doing that ALREADY? Didn’t you just get home?”
The thing is, some days are ones where we need an after-school craft, RIGHT after school. Maybe the day didn’t go quite as planned. Maybe someone is losing their marbles because so-and-so said this on the playground and that’s not fair, is it, Mom? Maybe it’s raining and wet and there’s still a lot of energy left to burn off before dinner time. Crafting allows the little ones time to de-stress, unwind and focus their energy on a new task or skill!
- Darice Pony Beads.
- Darice Kid’s Crafts Elastic Cord.
- Darice Kid’s Crafts Scissors.
- A doll’s wrist for measuring bracelet size.
Having initiated various beading projects with just my two kids – and in a few situations, almost twenty kids – I’ve managed to figure out a few ways to teach kids how to make a beaded bracelet without things going disastrously.
Step 1. Decant the beads. Put them in a bowl where little fingers can easily sort through colors and sizes. This also makes clean-up MUCH easier.
Step 2. Use elastic cording. You don’t have to deal with finicky clasps or worry about sizing your bracelet “just right”. And this cording stays tied. If you’ve ever dealt with the slippery plastic cord before, you’ve heard that cringe-worthy “clatter clatter clatter” of beads hitting the floor.
Step 3. Tie an “anchor bead” before you do anything else. This anchor means that beads will stay on during the entire project, and you won’t have to worry about making a knot big enough for that huge pony-bead hole.
If you have a child who is offended beyond measure over the idea of a bead facing the WRONG WAY on her cord *ahem, like I do* just wait until the bracelet is done, and then slide the beads down the cord and snip off the anchor bead before tying the bracelet together.
Step 4. Encourage patterns! My girls are five and six, and patterns are a part of both of their math curriculums at school. Learning how to make a beaded bracelet with patterns is a great way to get their brains working around a concept that isn’t on a sheet of paper.
A big focus of our project was making matching jewelry for our 18″ dolls. The girls were mindful of their patterns, and measured the bracelets out on their own.
Check out these pop tab crafts bracelet idea for another fun afternoon kids craft.