We’ve been introducing a new STEAM building each week as an after school activity here at home. Most of them involve simple materials, and I give little instruction to the girls. Instead I invite them to use the materials to create whatever they think would interesting given the materials provided. This wire and wood invitation turned into a collaborative project, and the girls seemed to like creating DIY toys similar to winding bead mazes.
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- Large wooden beads
- Assored length wooden round dowels we received from CraftProjectIdeas.com
- Floral wire
- Wire cutters
Make Your Own
Before the girls got started I showed them how to use the wire cutters to cut the wire. Then they started creating. They quickly realized this is better done as a collaborative project, and the three of us worked together. Most often one person would hold the dowels in place while another wrapped and secured the wire around them.
In the end they came up with some neat structured. Above my 5 year old created a tower with winding beads. The beads along the dowels and on the wire move back and forth sort of like a bead maze. She was thrilled with how it turned out.
My oldest started by making a musical instrument. When you shake it the beads make a fun sound.
Then she went on to create her own version of a bead maze. She liked adding waves into the wire so that the beads would move up and down as she rotates her toy.
A Few Tips:
Floral wire is sharp, and so are wire cutters. This project is best done with school age children. Watch kids closely and have a few bandaids nearby in case there are a few minor finger pricks. (They are small and similar to learning to sew with a needle.)
More STEAM Activities and Resources