Activity for ages 3 to 6.
My recently turned four year old loves to get glammed up by making her own jewelry, and with the 4th of July approaching, we thought making some patriotic patterned bracelets, which is such a great fine motor activity, would be appropriate for the upcoming festivities.
My daughter loves making her own jewelry. It is something I encourage for many reasons, not the least of which is because of how beading is such an excellent fine motor activity. It takes such a great amount of dexterity to thread a bead onto a piece of string, or in the case of this activity, a pipe cleaner. Activities like 4th of July bracelets are wonderful for preparing those little muscles for writing.
The materials for making these 4th of July bracelets are pretty basic:
- plastic pony beads in red, white and blue
- pipe cleaner (or string or elastic)
We began by sorting out the red, white and blue beads from the rest of the colors in the package. This was tedious work, but my daughter didn’t mind because she had a story to tell about each color bead she found. I love listening to her talk. She, like many other four year olds, has some very, very interesting stories to tell.
Once we had the pony beads sorted, we sat down and made a plan for our bracelets. I’m one of those moms who can’t help but integrate math or reading into a fine motor activity, and this one was no different. It only seemed appropriate that we make patterns. My daughter began with a simple ABC pattern, carefully threading each bead onto the pipe cleaner in just the right order, before moving on to an ABB pattern.
Because fine motor activities can take so much concentration, as my daughter challenged herself to make more difficult patterns, I encouraged her to make her pattern on the table first, which worked her fine motor muscles even more. It took a huge amount of dexterity to place the beads on the table in order without disrupting the rest of the pattern.
To finish the bracelet, I twisted the two ends of the pipe cleaner together. Then, instead of clipping off the ends which can still be pokey, I tucked them into the beads, threading them back through. This also added structure to the bracelet so that it would not lose its shape so easily.
As my daughter worked, I shared the meaning behind the colors we see around the 4th of July: white stands for innocence, red for valor and blue stands for justice.
The finished bracelets are perfect for the 4th of July holiday. Corinne loved making her own jewelry and, as a mom and teacher, I loved that she was getting in some extra fine motor practice and even some patterning reinforcement.