Benefits of Beading
Not too long ago, I was browsing on Taobao, looking for a foot spa machine for my FIL when I came across images of beads for crafting. The colours and shapes were captivating enough for me to click on them! That was when Sonia (my three-year-old daughter) walked in and squealed with excitement “Mummy, this is VERY nice! Are you buying them for me?” Before I could even reply, she went on telling me which type she prefers and why she liked them more, etc.
And so we lost focus. We didn’t buy a foot spa machine that day, instead we bought a few boxes of beads and some elastic cords.
We have a few other boxes of beads in brighter hue but we have both decided to use pastel coloured beads today.
If you follow my blog, you will know how much Sonia enjoys crafting! She loves drawing, painting, pasting, stringing, stacking, and what not. So when the boxes of beads arrived, you could imagine how delighted she was! Beading is one of our favourite mother-daughter activities! We can spend an entire hour (or even longer) making bracelets and necklaces. For her, beading is pure fun but what she doesn’t know is that, she has benefited so much from the same activity. I know what’s your next question – “How can beading be beneficial?”
Click on highlighted text to purchase.
BENEFITS OF BEADING
Beading is an excellent leisure activity which can promote children’s development in many ways!
#1 FINE MOTOR SKILLS
They learn how to grab! Yes, “grabbing” is a skill. Remember what school teachers always repeatedly tell you about practicing pincer grip with your child? When picking up smaller beads, children use their pincer grip, thus strengthening the small muscles of their hands. And when they are grabbing larger beads, they use a different grip. They use their thumb, pointer and index fingers, similar to holding a large crayon or marker.
Many components of making a beaded craft increase strength and coordination in the small hand and finger muscles. They work on in-hand manipulation skills. For example, picking, pinching, shifting, moving, rotating, and transferring the beads. These will help improve dressing skills (zipping her jacket, buttoning her blouse), and writing skills as they learn to better control their pencils during colouring and writing activities.
#2 VISUAL MOTOR SKILLS
Here we talk about hand-eye coordination. Threading beads onto a string involves bilateral coordination of the child’s hands, and requires their eyes and hands to work together. Similar skill is required to play sports, read and write. Sonia did a great job with threading beads but I can’t say the say for Arnold (my almost two-year-old son). The elastic cord seems too challenging for him. I did a quick search on the Internet and learned that toddlers his age are using pipe cleaners for threading activities.
I might get some of those soon, so he can participate in the same activity when jiejie is making her necklace!
Click on highlight text to purchase.
#3 COGNITIVE SKILLS
In layman term, we call them “Problem-Solving Skills”. It is the ability to process information, reason, remember and relate. Sonia will need to think how she wants to design her necklace, for example. What colours to use, what pattern to adopt, what size, how many beads required, etc. By answering these questions, she develops her planning and problem-solving skills.
#4 COUNTING SKILLS
My girl has little interest in numbers so I made use of activities she likes to introduce numbers. I asked her how long her necklace is going to be? How many beads she needs to form the particular design? How is she going to sequence her beads? My intention was to motivate her to think through these functional math problems and hopefully enjoy math more! The next time, I will include number cards so she can learn to recognise numbers with the digits.
#5 DISCIPLINE AND PATIENCE
To complete making a necklace or bracelet, your child needs to be discipline. She needs to be organised, focused and patient. These are life skills that will come in handy as they grow older. And I will like to emphasise the importance of patience in life because patience transforms relationships, helps you to be empathetic, helps acquire positive attitude, and makes you healthier! Patience is an important tool in overcoming frustration. It allows us to suspend judgment long enough to make informed decisions, thus paving the path to a happy and peaceful life. I wont’ go at length preaching about “patience” because this could well be a blog post by itself! Anyway, what I am driving at is that beading can help cultivate patience in your child!
Here’s how her final product looked like! Very pretty, I thought! And very symmetrical. She did that with some help but I hope someday she would be able to complete making a necklace on her own.
Last but not least, beading can provide your child with a sense of accomplishment. It is plain fun and fun is good for kids!
I’m already considering a Beading Party for Sonia’s fourth birthday!
Have fun bonding and beading with your children!