This simple bead threading activity is full of learning opportunities, it’s fun, and you get to wear a gorgeous necklace or bracelet when you are done!
Preschool children love the challenge of identifying and following a pattern. Using pattern cards helps to develop skills such as reading from left to right, colour recognition, number learning, visual discrimination, fine motor and coordination.
Older children will also enjoy learning that rainbows happen when light bends (refracts) as it passes through water, and that the colours in a rainbow always appear in the same order – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. You can follow these simple instructions to make your own rainbow and see the order for yourself.
You can use lots of different item to make these necklaces, as long as they come in rainbow colours! You could try cut up drinking straws, pony beads or you can easily dye pasta rainbow colours. Just make sure you have all seven colours.
For little hands a nice stiff string to thread onto is best. You can use pipe cleaners, plastic ‘string’ (you can get this from most craft and toy stores) or plastic whipper snipper chord works well too.
You can download these two simple pattern cards here. One card has a simple a repeating rainbow pattern, the other has two of each colour side by side in the sequence. You can print them onto an A4 page and then cut them into two separate pattern cards.
Here are a few tips for using the rainbow pattern cards:
It may be easier for young children if you separate each colour of bead into it’s own container.
Run through the name of each bead colour and match it to the colour of bead on the printable pattern sheet before you start.
For younger children putting the beads onto the pattern card before threading can reinforce skills and help them follow the pattern on their own.
Tie a bead to the end of the string before you begin threading to keep all the beads from falling off.
Show your child where to start at the left and how to work to the right following the pattern.
You can run through the pattern once, or repeat it several times until you have filled the entire string and have a lovely necklace or bracelet to wear!