By Kid’s Crafts Contributor Stephanie, from the blog A Geek In Glasses.
I like the idea of taking basic shapes and creating something out of them. I feel this teaches children to use their imaginations and think outside the box. I had plain wooden beads in three different sizes and my daughter and I came up with several different animals / bugs that can be made out of the beads. Using different combinations of sizes and colors, the possibilities are endless.
To start this project we selected the beads to make the creatures. A large bead with a medium bead makes the bunny and the chick. A large and a small make the lady bug add a couple more littles to make the caterpillar. A medium with three little ones make the butterfly.
Once you have decided on what animals you are making, then get the paint ready. For painting the wooden beads with a stain like paint we used watercolor paint. This creates a nice color but still lets the wood grain show through. We just use vinegar to thin the watercolor paint instead of water. This helps it absorb into the wood. Paint the beads in the needed colors and let dry.
While the beads are drying, cut little felt feet for the chick and bunny, ears for the bunny and bill for the chick. For the caterpillar you will need antennas and wings for the butterfly.
Once the beads are dry, start gluing the pieces together. I used the hot glue gun for instant finished products. You can use tacky glue, but then you have drying time. The key to gluing the animals together is to use the hole in the bead as the eyes for the creature and then hiding the holes for the body.
When done you will have a bunch of spring time friends for your little one to play with!