I came across this idea during my random Instagram/Pinterest brainstorming session and knew I had to try it with Ava.
Ava just turned two in June, but has always loved small motor activities, so I felt pretty confident that she would like it. Plus, it gives me happy flashbacks to summer camp and friendship bracelets, so I knew I would like it too.
The concept is simple – and all you need are pipe cleaners and pony beads. I put a bead on the end of the pipe cleaner, then bent the pipe cleaner around the bead. Then I would hold it as Ava tried to thread the bead onto the pipe cleaner. It took a few tries before she was able to do it, and then she wanted to hold it herself and do it alone: “Ava do it!”
I loved watching what colors she picked (although I’m fairly certain it was random) and we named the colors as we went. Eventually when she is older, I will start introducing the idea of patterns. The next time we do this activity, I might also work on counting (“How many pink beads are there? How many beads have you put on so far?”).
When Ava was done, I asked her if she wanted to wear it or if Daddy should wear it or if Mommy should wear it. She gave it to me and my heart swelled up. Once I put it on, she was so so proud of herself.
It didn’t occur to me when I grabbed supplies for this activity, but it’s a great opportunity to talk about giving and making something nice for someone else. What a wonderful lesson to learn. This activity definitely gives me the warm fuzzies.
*This activity requires supervision so the child doesn’t put beads in their mouth or ears or nose.*