Pipe Cleaner & Straw Preschool Jewelry Project
Here’s a fun beading activity for very young children. The pipe cleaners are easier to handle than strings or shoelaces and they fit perfectly inside the straw-beads.
What you will need: pipe cleaners, colored straws, scissors, and tape.
First make your beads by cutting the colored straws into one inch pieces. If you are working with older children, they can help with blunt scissors, or you can do this step yourself in preparation.
Show the children how to slide the straw-beads onto the pipe cleaner. This is excellent fine-motor and eye-hand coordination practice!
Once a pipe cleaner is nearly covered with the pieces of straw, you can bend and combine them into whatever shapes you want. Leave a bit of pipe cleaner hanging out at the end; you can fold it over to hold on the last bead and tape over it, or you can tape the two ends together to make a loop. You can also tape two pipe cleaners together for a longer string of beads.
Check out a few of the things we created. The headband is simply bent into shape. The crown and necklace are made from two pipe cleaners and the bracelet is one. This activity kept the children engrossed for nearly an hour; they loved it!
Challenge the kids to use all one color or to create patterns with the different colored beads to make this activity even more educational.