Bead Crafts With My Kid
I was beading long before my son was born, and even though I took a little break from my beadwork while he was an infant, a few months later I got back to working with beads. It was challenging at first: I had to wait until he went down for a nap, and then depending on how badly I needed a nap, I would take advantage of a couple of hours of quiet time and do some beading at the dining room table, or even with him snuggled in my lap.
As he got older, many of my friends assumed that I would have to cover up or hide my beading projects to prevent my son from getting into them. I know it’s not typical at all, but maybe because my beads were always out and available, my son never really got into any trouble with them. (Sure, there was that one night when he tossed a tennis ball to the dog and it landed in the middle of my bead tray while I was working, but, hey, stuff like that happens to everyone with small children, right?)
Maybe part of the reason why my son was always so good around my beads was because I found things in my stash that he could safely play with. When he was around 2 years old, I would give him a big drawer full of enormous and chunky Lucite beads for him to dig through with his hands while I kept an eye on him.
He loved the colors and the shapes of the beads so much that one day while we were in my local bead store looking for a couple of odds and ends that I needed, he asked to buy some alphabet beads so he could string his own necklace! Since then, he’s made dozens of beaded necklaces by stringing beads, and he always asks me to finish them for him with a magnetic clasp.
We’ve been branching out into other kinds of bead crafts lately, too, using leather to make simple necklaces out of drilled river stones and even looking for handmade glass beads for bead crafts at the local farmer’s market.
When I finally learned how to do beaded kumihimo back in 2012, my son, then aged 4, decided that he wanted to help me by stringing all the beads for my projects before I started to braid. What a cool kid! Before I know it, he’s probably going to be learning how to do peyote stitch and right-angle weave, too. Maybe I’ve got another David Chatt or Huib Peterson in the making?
And my kid isn’t the only one doing bead crafts! My friend and fellow bead artist Jan Atherton from Illinois recently showed me a couple of photos of her son, Ewan, stringing his first beaded necklace! Way to go, Jan and Ewan!
I also know from my years of experience in teaching middle school kids how to bead and do other kinds of bead crafts that making beaded jewelry and beading projects with kids is fun for them and fulfilling for us! I love how beading brings out the creative side of kids, and teaches them basic principles of design like color, shape, and balance.
In Birthday Parties with Candie Cooper: Bead Crafts For Kids, you’ll learn 3 kid-friendly bead crafts for making fun kids’ jewelry out of beads and craft supplies. Or if you’re hearing that familiar summer mantra, “Mom, I’m boooooooooored,” check out Rainy Day Projects with Candie Cooper – you’ll find 3 more great bead craft projects using knotting techniques, hardware store findings, and stretchy cord that the grown-ups will want to make, too!
Do you do beadwork or bead crafts with kids? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your stories with us!