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Inexpensive, Fun, Toddler-Friendly DIY Mother's Day Gift Idea

Early this week, I was at the Dollar Tree and picked up a pack of metallic beads. I had been wanting to purchase these to have at home when doing arts & crafts projects with my daughter and also to use for practicing fine motor skills developmental activities. The first activity we tried doing together with them was to make a her insert the beads through a pipe cleaner. Initially, I didn't intend for her to make a wearable bracelet. However, as we continued working on the activity, it turned out to become a beautiful handmade work of art, that all my daughter wanted to do was wear it for the rest of the day! After watching her wear it for an entire 2 days, it dawned on me what a great gift it would be from her to her grandmothers and aunts for Mother's Day. I thought I'd share this fun, easy, and inexpensive handmade gift idea for you to create with your children at home.

I have to mention that, the best part about this Mother's Day gift idea is the low cost of making, it's easy and quick, and most importantly to me, the learning experience you give your child while creating it. I literally spent $2 on materials for this and we were able to make 5 bracelets including my daughter's.

Here are the learning components of doing this activity:

-Your child will be practicing and developing fine motor skills when inserting the beads in the piper cleaner,

-Your child will be practicing color recognition and patterns when selecting beads to add to the bracelet. Be sure to constantly ask your child, "What color would you like to add next?". You can also direct your child to follow a pattern by repeating colors that are placed on one end of the pipe cleaner to be added to the other end as well and say, "Can you find a RED bead to add next?"

-You child will be practicing counting. While making the bracelet and creating a pattern, be sure to count with your child the number of beads to each pattern and direct your child to find that number of beads when repeating the pattern. For example, "We need 2 more YELLOW beads."

To make these beautiful handmade bracelets all you need is:

1 pipe clear (pack of 10 or more for $1 at Dollar Tree)

Colored Beads (pack of over 20 beads $1 at Dollar Tree)

A pair of scissors

1) Begin by adding desired beads into pipe cleaner. Once your child has a few beads in try to suggest he/she creates a pattern by repeating specific bead colors.

2) Once you have most of the pipe cleaner filled, check if it is large enough for the person who will be wearing it to insert their hand through. If it's too small, add more beads until accurate width is achieved. (For the adult bracelets we made, I used my hand as a guide to measure.)

3) At desired width, tie a knot and cut off excess pipe cleaner. Make sure to secure the metal ends of the pipe cleaners by sliding them into the last beads in order to avoid pinching.

That's all folks!

Today, I placed one of these bracelets in an envelope along with a special Mother's day card and mailed it out to my mother in Florida. I know for sure these bracelets are going to touch the hearts of the women who my daughter made them for...

...Sew This is Life!

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