At the end of last year I took my daughter to kindergym to let her burn off extra energy and have some one on one time. We are not going to make it this term (I’m a little bit too pregnant now to be chasing her around all the obstacles) but I got some great ideas for activities I can do at home with her. One was threading.
At the kindergym they had different coloured and shaped bead much like old cotton spools for the children to thread on to shoelaces. For some reason Miss Pops loved it. I was told it helps with their thumb and forefinger coordination which in turn helps holding a pencil when it comes time to learn to write.
After making our salt dough hand prints that went down a treat at Christmas with the grandparents, we had left over dough. Perfect for making threading beads.
After we played with it for a bit. We rolled it into balls about half to three quarters the size of a golf ball and then flatted them a bit to make discs. Once I showed Pops what to do she was able to help with this too, I just had to tidy hers up a bit after she was done. I kept them pretty rough in shape. I didn’t have the the to smooth them out in great detail. But I sit press a triangle stamp into them just for a bit of added detail. It really doesn’t matter. You could spend ages shaping them however you like. I then used a bamboo skewer to make holes in beads. The holes have to be big enough to fit what you are going to thread them on too. You could buy some shoe laces but I didn’t want to spend any money on this exercise. My plan was to thread onto some spare ribbon I have in my stash. Just tie a knot in one end of a length of ribbon and wrap some washi tape around the other to make the little stiff bit (like in shoelaces). The trick is to make this stiff bit at least double the width of your beads. It makes it a bit easier for little hands to push it through.
Once you have shaped your beads bake them in a slow oven just like the salt dough ornaments until they are dry on both sides.
Once cooked, I painted them in acrylic paint. You could modge podge them too but I find everything I modge podge goes sticky so I just left them. I did two of each colour so we can use this time to learn colours too. Once dry you are all ready to go. They do look like lollies once painted so make sure they are big so not to cause a choking hazard. Master Leo has tried a few times to eat them.
Pops had really taken to these. Much more than I actually thought she would. They are compact and easy to travel with. Ours just live in a snap lock sandwich bag.