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This was not a planned activity, but it was simple, the kids loved it, and they got so much out of it…
We used drinking straws to “draw straws” during our Advent lesson. It was to demonstrate how “drawing lots” worked in the Bible. Then we were left with some gently used plastic straws.
I’m not the most hippy-dippy person you’ll ever meet, but if there’s a way to get more out of the things we use then I’m all for that. There’s no need to waste a perfectly good straw, right? So what did we do? We made a craft, of course!
Creativity on the Fly
This was not a craft that I had planned when I wrote out my Advent calendar. It came to me when my 5-year-old was crying out of disappointment when she didn’t draw the short straw.
Therefore, we were limited to using items we already had in our craft supply inventory. I use the word “limited” loosely, because craft supplies are my weakness.
Here’s what we used:
- Drinking straws
- Pony beads
- Scotch tape
Here’s what we did:
- I gave each kid a pair of scissors made for kids, and they cut their straws up into “beads.” The little one needed some help with this.
- I cut a piece of twine for each child that when tied together at both ends would easily slip over their heads.
- I tied a pony bead onto one end of the piece of twine to keep the beads from slipping off.
- I wrapped a small piece of tape around the other end of the twine to make it easier to put the beads on.
- The kids threaded their twine with a combination of straw “beads” and pony beads. We used pony beads because that is what we had, but any kind of beads will do!
- When the kids were done stringing beads I tied the ends of the twine together. Just like that we had necklaces!
What we got out of it
It is such a simple project. It’s hard to believe that they get anything out of it–but they really do!
They get practice properly holding and using scissors. They get fine-motor-skill practice when they are stringing beads onto the twine. They also get to make creative choices as to what beads they want to put on their twine in what order.
They have to think about what the pattern is going to look like when the beads are on the twine, which teaches them cause-and-effect and how to plan and think ahead.
The best part is that all of this is happening and they don’t even see it as work! My kids absolutely loved doing this craft. Now I just have to remind them to keep their necklaces away from the baby.