When I was in middle school, my friends would come back from vacation with braided and beaded hair as a souvenir from their island adventures. I was so jealous. I practiced making similar braids sitting in front of Charles in Charge and A.L.F. Pony beads have a special place in my heart.
Point being, I have bags of them and am always looking for ways to use them! Oliver and I were home together the other morning and he used his toddler sign language to ask for his pipe cleaners and colander. (I told you they’re a miracle.) I introduced the pony beads as something Oliver could ‘string’ onto the pipe cleaners.
Some might argue that this was a bad idea to begin with. Impulsive 2-year-old neanderthal, tiny plastic beads, a good right throwing arm… The activity started out great.
The beads were difficult for his sweet little hands to easily grasp, but good practice for his dexterity. I helped him by pushing the pipe cleaner through each bead as he held it steady. As he picked up each bead, we said the color name together.
Once we’d strung a dozen or so, what he enjoyed most was sliding each bead off of the pipe cleaner.
Next we made a pattern. I strung a green, then a white bead over and over and then asked Oliver to find which bead should come next. (Oliver gets a C+ at pattern recognition…)
This is the part when you can chuckle to yourselves and think some iteration of ‘told you so’ or ‘I knew it.’ Yes, the beads ended up everywhere.
He started gradually by spilling them onto the table. That was fun for some truck driving.
It wasn’t until I had to answer the phone that Wile E. Coyote arrived to remove all beads from the table.
Back to the drawing board to find some more pony bead activities, and maybe next time I’ll tackle them with my older less destructive child.