January 4, 2013

Foam Beads & Pipe Cleaners

I'm always looking for fun and easy inside activities for my boys to do during the winter.  They love being out in the snow, but it sure gets cold and dark early.  Do any of you moms out there start to panic when the long winter evenings set in?  Do you wonder what you're going to do with your kids all evening?  I sometimes do, so that's why I try to collect  activities like these. 

My twins first did this activity in nursery at church many years ago.  They wouldn't stay in nursery without me, so I spent a lot of time in there with them.  It actually turned out to be a good thing.  I picked up on a lot of fun activities for  little ones.  My boys were about two when they first did this activity, and even though they're six now they'll still sit down and do it once in awhile.

You'll need a big pack of foam beads.  I found mine at Walmart, but it's been quite awhile ago.  I'm sure you can find them at any craft store.

You'll also need pipe cleaners.  Apparently I haven't bought pipe cleaners since last Valentine's Day.  The color doesn't really matter because the beads cover the pipe cleaners.

Simply thread the beads on the pipe cleaners.  The pipe cleaners allow the foam beads to stay in place, which makes this activity ideal for little hands.  I do bend one end of the pipe cleaner so as the beads are threaded on, they will stay in place and not fall off.

You can make winter color beads.

Valentine beads (my favorite!).

Rainbow beads are fun too.  Doesn't it make you think of Rainbow Brite? One of my twins was obsessed with rainbows when he was younger (I was too- could that be genetic?).  He LOVED making the rainbow ones.

The beads are also great for practicing patterns.  The colors, shapes, and sizes are perfect for endless pattern possibilities!
What fun activities do you use with your kids on long winter nights? 

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