Possum (2.5 years) is very much into making things at the moment, especially things that can be worn. The weather has been very cold lately and so we have found ourselves indoors and getting creative what whatever we have on hand. For a bit of fun I thought we could make a threaded straw necklace.
There is so much I loved about doing this activity with Possum. It was a great activity that could be done with quite a degree of independence, however, we really loved making these threaded straw necklaces together. Making these gorgeous pieces also gave us lots of opportunity to talk about colours, patterning and who we would enjoy giving them to as a random act of kindness. This activity also saw Possum extend her skills in developing her fine motor skills.
Recommended age: 2.5 + years
You will need –
- Plastic straws (variety of colours recommended)
- Shoelaces, elastic or similar
- Pipecleaners (if making bracelets)
Safety first, I went about preparing this activity and snipping the coloured straws into 2cm pieces, which from this point I renamed to call them ‘beads’. You could absolutely vary the size of the straw beads and the colours available for your child to use.
Beginning with bracelets
I thought it might be a nice starting point for Possum if I downscaled the activity and had her make bracelets using the straw beads and pipe cleaners. Pipe cleaners are easier to handle than other string-like materials and a great way to warm up those fine motor muscles.
I simply created a small loop at one end of the pipe cleaner to ensure the straw beads didn’t slide off as she was threading.
Possum had no difficulty in threading the straw beads onto the pipe cleaners. Naturally the conversation turned to whatever colour choices she had made and she also began reflecting on how she was going with the activity. Older children might find it possible to make well thought out patterns and thread other items, such as small patty pans or wooden beads for variety.
We found ourselves making a number of gorgeous straw threaded bracelets. To secure the ends I simple twisted them together and slid a bead over the join. So easy and simple to put on little wrists and remove again. See another example of straw necklaces here.
DIY threaded necklace
To make a beaded straw necklace I used some unused shoelaces. It gave me the length I needed and could be easily cut and tied at the end. I also loved that the shoelaces had a plastic end (called an ‘aglet’ of course), which makes threading so much easier for kids.
Safety warning: Children must be supervised wearing these pieces as they do not have safety release catches.
As we were making these I couldn’t help but think that this simple fine motor activity would be perfect for children to make at parties or playgroup sessions. It really kept Possum engaged and she really was able to express her creativity and have fun.