We have been enjoying a new version of bead stringing in the classroom – making our own beads!  I have always known the importance of working with clay for children especially as a means of motor development and artistic expression.  Here, the children have been shown various steps for making and collecting small clay beads to be strung to make necklaces once dried.  As we have been proceeding with the theme of the Short Bead Stair in our Practical Life activities, I thought this might be a clever way to tie in the number eight, which is brown.

The materials set up on the shelf.
Container with clay; small dish with toothpicks for making the holes in the beads; wooden board for a workspace; paper plates to collect the beads once made; basket of dried beads; basket with string and scissors, small dish to count out eight dried beads.

Once a child brings the materials to a table and makes their beads, they bring the plate to our drying rack so the beads may dry overnight.  The next day, the beads are transferred to the basket so that children may count out their beads to make a necklace, using the rest of the materials on the shelf.

“Number Eight Necklace” corresponding with the Short Bead Stair.

Most of all, I love how much pride the children take in making their necklaces, wearing them, and sharing them with others.