Good thing these aren’t real icicles, but they are a simple craft that supports basic skills and kindergarten readiness plus are fun for holiday decorating. Thanks to the inspiring site HappyHooligans.ca for this wonderful idea.
The biggest challenge was finding sparkly silver pipe cleaners, but after checking a few stores, we found a package of multicolored ones. Once that’s accomplished, help little hands make a bend at one end so the beads do not slide off. Kids then string beads on the pipe cleaner. Pony beads have a much bigger hole than other ones so are easier than ones with smaller holes. The beads do not have to cover the whole pipe cleaner. The icicles look really pretty with lots of spaces. Once done, twist the top so beads can’t come off and show kids how to twist it around a pencil. Slide the pencil out, tug at each end and there’s a sparkly, colorful icicle.
Although you might think it would be easier to twist the pipe cleaner around the pencil before stringing on the beads, this doesn’t work. The twisting is okay, but putting beads on the pipe cleaner just made me quite dizzy even when only using a few!
There’s lots of learning with this activity. Kids get a chance to use the small muscles in the hands, wrists and fingers. Picking up the beads and putting them on requires eye-hand coordination. It’s also great for stretching concentration. Color words, sizes and shapes were all part of the conversation.
While Big Sister knew the bead color that came next in my pattern, she didn’t want to make a pattern of her own. It looks like she chose her beads at random but she had specific ideas about each one she used. Did you know that making choices is also a skill that kids need to practice? Some kids would wait for an adult to suggest which bead to use next as they are reluctant to choose on their own, so this would be an opportunity for them to practice. There’s space to be creative too as kids make their own colorful icicles.
Is this a doable activity for your child?
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