Miss O loves a good craft, especially one that involves her two favourite colours: light pink & aqua (she’s rather particular for a three year old). Her attention span is pretty short so the craft has to be quick and simple for her to stick around and complete it. I also need to do crafts while her little brother naps which gives me about a 2 hour window to assemble and create something with her. This Valentine beaded heart garland was just the ticket.
I had everything I needed in my craft collection to set her up with a fun and simple craft. I prepped it the night before so we could get right to work once Little J was down for his nap. The most time-consuming part to getting this craft ready was choosing the perfect selection of beads! I have a large collection of them both my giant collection of pony beads and plenty from my jewelry-making days. This garland can be made simply with a collection of pony beads that come in a giant bag at your local big box discount store or even the dollar store. Pony beads are the perfect size for little hands to string onto pipe cleaners.
What You’ll Need
- Pipe cleaners in Valentine colours – I chose pink & red – do as many as you like! I opted for 6 which is a great number for a toddler.
- Beads! Anything that will slide onto the pipe cleaner easily. Pony beads work best.
- A container to corral the beads – I like using an ice cube tray but you can always just toss them into a bowl.
Start by folding the pipe cleaners in half – the point will be the bottom of the heart. It also makes it easier for the kids to grasp onto them and prevents the beads from sliding off the ends. I mocked up a heart ahead of time so Miss O would have something to guide her. Toddlers work better from visuals instead of simply explaining what to do.
Let your toddler go to town loading up those pipe cleaners up with beads! Miss O compared it to making a necklace. She also described the colours with such enthusiasm: “This one is a pinkish orange!” If your little one is still learning their colours, it’s a great way to make learning fun. Who says the beads have to be all pinks, reds and whites? I added some aqua-coloured beads for an accent as it’s one of Miss O’s favourite colours. Use a collection of primary-coloured beads and have them name the colours they are using.
Once the pipe cleaners are complete, you will fashion them into hearts. Start with one pipe cleaner – bring the ends up and around and twist them together. Take your next pipe cleaner and string it through the first heart before forming the heart shape. Continue until you have strung all of the pipe cleaner hearts together.
Display your toddler’s Valentine beaded garland in a prominent spot in your home. I used my Christmas stocking hooks to hang them from my mantel! Be sure to check out my Valentine Mantel from last year to get a few ideas on how to decorate yours.
I made a little video of Miss O assembling her Valentine beaded heart garland so you can see just how fun and easy it is for them to do. For those curious, she is 3.5 years old.
Andrea can always be found with a new craft in front of her, a form of technology on her right and a coffee on her left. This is how she survives suburbia with her two crazy toddlers in tow.