Making beads at home with the kids can be as easy as pulling the flour out of the pantry, adding water and being creative with the paints! Here’s how.
Things You’ll Need:
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 & 1/2 cups water (cold)
- Paints (acrylic or other suitable paint)
- Yarn, thread, leather piece, fishing line, etc. for necklace thread
- Assemble the things you’ll need.
- Mix the flour and salt.
- Add water and mix well.
- Knead the “dough” that you’ve created for 10 – 15 minutes. If it feels flexible when you bend it and does not fall to pieces, it is ready for shaping.
- Shape the beads. Take small pieces and work them into ovals, circles, squares, or whatever takes your fancy.
- Make a hole in the bead. If you are using your beads to turn into a necklace or bracelet, make a hole in the center with a skewer or other thin long object. If you are using the beads for other projects, you may not want to have holes in them.
- Bake the beads in an oven set at 250ºF/120ºC for 2 – 3 hours. Check regularly to see how they are going. They are done when there is no moisture left and they feel hard to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and allow to dry on a cooling rack.
- Paint your beads. Decide which colors you’d like to make your beads and paint them. Include spots, stripes, shapes and even little people or animals on them, depending on your painting skills.
- Allow paint to dry thoroughly.
- Create objects with your beads. If you want a beaded necklace or bracelet, thread the beads onto a length of yarn or other suitable necklace/bracelet thread. Think of other ways to use your beads, including as game pieces.
- Children can help measure the amounts, knead the dough and tidy up afterwards, as well as making the beads. There is a hidden mathematics lesson and muscle-building exercise involved in these! Not to mention learning about cleaning up responsibilities after the fun.
- Try making marble shapes and playing a game of marbles with specially painted beads. Or think of other games that you might be able to make using the beads.