Need some bead bracelet ideas for the little ones in your life? Look no further! This wearable craft is so easy, versatile, and fun; it’s the perfect activity for any occasion!
Little kids love making their own bracelets. There’s just something about a bowl full of colorful beads that’s simply irresistible to this age group. And of course, they’re always so proud of their creations! A piece of art you can wear around? Yes please!
But making bracelets with little ones isn’t just a fun craft; in fact, beading can have a variety of developmental benefits for young kids.
Bracelet making can hone fine motor skills, build patience, and foster hand-eye-coordination. It’s a natural way to explore color sorting, counting, and pattern building.
Even better? Though this craft is fantastic for fostering creativity, it only requires a couple of basic supplies and is very low mess! And while you know we love a good mess here at The Artful Parent, we also appreciate an activity that doesn’t require a full bath afterwards.
Safety note: Toddlers who are still experimenting with mouthing should, of course, be monitored closely with any small object, including beads. Consider starting with cheerios or another round cereal instead!
Our Favorite Bead Bracelet Ideas
1. Name Bracelets
Help kids spell out their names or initials using alphabet beads. Make sure you have plenty of letters handy; your kids might want to make one for everyone they know!
2. Rainbow Bracelets
Read books about rainbows together and then create vibrant rainbow bracelets by stringing beads in a sequence of colors. (Want even more rainbow fun? You won’t want to miss these crafts!)
3. Seasonal Bracelets
You can set out a fresh bracelet-making station for each new season or holiday. Use limited color palettes like red, white, and blue for July 4th, or pinks and reds for Valentine’s Day. I especially love adding jingle bells during Christmastime for some extra noisy fun!
4. Friendship Bracelets
Your kids will love making bracelets with their friends! It’s an easy activity to whip together for a play date or birthday party. Set out some beads in a variety of containers, a handful of pipe cleaners, and watch the magic happen. In fact, bracelets make fantastic classroom Valentines. You can get our Free Printable download for Taylor-Swift Inspired Bracelet Valentines HERE
5. Snack Bracelets
Use fruit loops, cheerios, or even pretzels! Any snack you can put on a pipe cleaner can become a bead in your next snack bracelet. Really hungry? Twist a few pipe cleaners together to make a snack necklace instead!
Our Favorite Bead Bracelet Supplies
- Pipe Cleaners: When first introducing bead bracelets to young kids, we suggest using pipe cleaners, which will stay in place while small hands work to add beads, reducing frustration with the project. Tip: before handing your child the pipe cleaner, bend one end so the beads won’t fall off.
- String: Once your kids are well-practiced with pipe cleaner bracelets, you can move onto string! You can use any string or yarn you have at home, or string like this that has stiff ends specifically for lacing. Just wrap one end of the string with tape to make beading much easier. Tip: tape the bottom of your string to a table or tray.
- Colored Pony Beads: Plastic pony beads like these come in an array of colors and shapes and are the perfect size for slipping over pipe cleaners.
- Letter Beads: Adding letter beads to the mix will take your bracelets to the next level!
- Paper Straws: Decorative paper straws are an inexpensive and plastic-free way to create your own beads! Simply cut each straw into your desired size. I always check the dollar store for fun designs and holiday patterns.
- Edible “Beads”: Who needs beads when you have cereal? This is especially helpful if you have a little one who is still mouthing everything she touches.
Whether it’s a rainy-day activity at home or a fun project for your next playdate, this totally simple craft is one you’ll be coming back to again and again!
More Crafts for Little Kids
- 11 Easy Craft Ideas for Toddlers
- Sticker Art Activities for Toddlers
- 5 Low Mess Ideas for Toddlers
- 5 Nature Play Ideas for Toddlers & Preschoolers
- 7 Sensory Bins for Toddlers
- 10 Arts & Crafts for Preschoolers
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