What You Do:
- Cut the paper into strips (5 inches long and ½ inch wide). Roll each strip of paper around a pencil or knitting needle. Once you’ve formed the shape, slide the paper out and put a drop of glue on the end to hold the paper in place. Press firmly until the glue dries. Repeat using at least two colors.
- Once the beads are dry, they’re ready to use. Cut a piece of yarn into the appropriate length for your child’s necklace or bracelet, wrap a piece of masking tape around one end to make stringing easier, knot the other end, and set them to work!
Whichever recipe of bead you use, this is a great excuse to talk about patterns. Teach your child to string a simple sequence of A-B-A-B. Make sure to say the pattern aloud to help her make the connection between what’s on her piece of yarn, and what she hears. You can say, “This is an A-B-A-B pattern” or “This is a red-yellow-red-yellow pattern”.
Once she’s mastered the simplest patterns, try something more difficult, such as A-B-C-A-B-C, or A-B-A-B-C-A-B-A-B-C.
Let your child make a pattern for you to copy. And be sure to make a few mistakes. Correcting you is a kick for young kids, and it will help your child focus more closely on following the pattern, and making predictions about what comes next in line.
Andie McConnell has taught a wide variety of grades at charter, private and public schools. She holds a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction. And she's the proud mom of a preschooler.