kiddo craft / by jen geigley

This summer, we've spent plenty of time poolside and playing in the dirt, but sometimes you need a fun and easy craft (while enjoying a little time in the AC.)
If you've seen my kid around town the past couple of weeks, you've seen her wearing one of these perler bead necklaces. Lo and I made a bunch of these together, and she loves picking out a new one to wear every day.
After several store clerks, moms, and strangers in the grocery store started asking where we got them or how we made them, I decided to do a quick d.i.y. right here in case you wanted to make some, too!
We used multi-colored elastic cord to make bracelets and a few small necklaces, and some thicker lacing cord (almost like hemp) for the longer necklaces. The 'plastic' elastic/stretch cord pictured above is definitely the easiest for little hands to use, and my three-year-old had no problem stringing the beads by herself. You can find cord like this at Michaels, JoAnns or Wal-Mart.
Then, obviously, you need some beads! We mixed a couple of packs of perler beads with some larger, more sparkley beads that we mixed and matched. For necklaces that will fit over your child's head, cut a piece of cord about 20" to 22" long, and for bracelets, just measure your child's wrist.
Disclaimer: Obviously, you should only attempt beading projects with children who are old enough to know that they shouldn't put beads in their mouth. Even older kids can be unpredictable, so it's always a good idea to supervise when they're around small objects that could potentially be choking hazards. Same thing with necklaces – don't let your child nap or play unsupervised if you're worried that a necklace could become wrapped around their neck. (Okay, PSA over!)
Beading is a great project for kids to work on their counting skills, playing with new color combinations, and to practice making patterns. (We had a ton of fun making little perler bead 'friendship bracelets' ... top left in the pic above.)
Here's what ours ended up looking like (click the photo above to see it larger) ... hope you will have some fun with these, too!