As we have approached the end of winter, spring fever has set in. Although most afternoons are warm enough to enjoy the great outdoors, we have spent most of our mornings inside, out of the cold and wind. We used a few of those mornings to enjoy a little crafting with Zirrly Super Beads, or “water beads” as my kids called them.
We specifically used the Super Beads Jungle Animals kit, but there are so many to choose from, including 3D car and trucks, spinning tops, and jewelry. Super Beads are an easy, no-mess craft that can be used by most children ages 5+ and are non-toxic. Everything needed comes in the kit:
- design templates
- design template tray
- individual bags of pre-sorted color beads
- an easy to use removal tool for those “uh oh!” moments
- a spray bottle for spraying with water
Zirrly Super Beads are a perfect craft for hot summer afternoons, a weekend at grandmas, or as making for gifts to give others. The colored beads make it easy to turn this craft into a sorting activity, as well as counting, and definitely helps with fine motor practice. With Easter coming, I can imagine these being in many Easter or spring baskets in lieu of candies! They would also make a great table activity at a themed birthday party, and with so many kit options, there is sure to be one for all interests. Kits range in ages and difficulty, so older children can enjoy these, as well as the littles.
How We Used Super Beads
On a very windy, cool morning with 4 tiny humans under foot, I opened the Jungle Animals kit. The kids helped cut open each bag of beads, and I poured them into the tray which has individual cups for each color. The tray holds enough beads to work with at one time for several children, and they are easily sorted by color. Next, we placed the animal design cards under the plastic frame as instructed, and we were ready to craft!
My oldest 2 children (7,5) worked independently on their animal design-my daughter the monkey, and my son the hippo. My 3 year old daughter just enjoyed putting little beads on her frame making her own design. (If you know our little Miss, you know she does everything her own way-no instructions necessary haha.)
The best part of using Zirrly’s beads is no ironing, no wax paper, no glue, no mess! After completing her design, we sprayed Lady’s beads with the included water bottle and let it sit, un touched, as instructed.
I sprayed it once, let it sit a while and sprayed again, just to be sure it got wet enough to “glue” the beads together. An hour later, the monkey design came out of the frame so easily, and sure enough, it held together nicely! She was SO excited to have made something so fun and on her own. She asked about it tearing up (ever the perfectionist), and was relieved to know we could just put it back in the frame and spray again if any beads fell off.
The process held my oldest’s attention and she would have continued with more that day had we not needed to run errands. My 5 year old boy enjoyed it, but it was something he came back to over the course of a few days, to complete on his own. I’m sure it was tiring for his small fingers to do the fine motor work needed to place the beads on the frame; had I helped, he would have finished sooner. He asked daily to work on his hippo. Each animal also had a design on the template that makes a stand, so after a child has made a design it can stand on a shelf, desk, etc. The finished object is flexible, not hard or rigid, meaning it holds together even better than expected, allowing children to actually play with their creation!
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