Feb 5, 2005, 7:16 AM
This was deleted from about.com, in the hosts hissy fit over "IT'S MY FORUM" tantrum. PUGDOG was kind enough to open this new topic to hold these messages, and hopefully start a discussion on working with kids -- something that can be really challenging, but also greatly rewarding.
What age group?
PUGDOG's has information and ideas for this. They've done parties and classes for all ages, and groups like the girl scouts.
Macrame adds a dimension to beading, and a choker can be finished in 1-1.5 hours, even with 8 or 9 year olds.
If you have pliers for everyone teach them to make earrings. Girls love that :) And head pins and small beads are not expensive. You can get bulk sterling ear wires for about 20-30 cents a pair or less, so even making 10 pair of earrings can cost about $5 to 6 depending on what you string on them, and certainly under $10 (unless you are using silver and swarovski).
Making the zipper pulls or hair decorations using beadie critters (E beads are a good size for hair) http://beadiecritters.com are a lot of fun. You can also make hair clips and other fashion statements with inexpensive parts, some wire and seed beads. Klutz had a few books on that were full of ideas.
Kids are a lot of fun to work with, and can inspire you in ways you never dreamed.
If you do something like the daisy chain, there are a lot of variations that have been published. I think beadwork did one last year (or 2003). There were some fold-over friendship bracelet pamphlets available from Design Originals (craft stores) that had dozens of pictures and designs.
You can use DMC floss, and braid bracelets and accent with beads as you go along. Sort of a simplistic macrame, or you can use it in more advanced knotting and bead accents (Nothing says macrame has to be hemp).
Also, the same (or slightly similar) project in different beads is a whole new look, especially to kids. They see the beads, not the project. It's all new to them.
If you want to "teach" something fairly simple, the beadworks Stringing issue with the blue/green cover has a layout on page 66 that shows a simple bracelet pattern (kids love patterns to start with), and all the variations that come from it. They may even have to count the pictures to believe they are all the same pattern.
Laminate the double page spread, Kinkos can do it, and put it on the center of the table. Let everyone pick beads, and start creating.
(Does it sound like I have kids??)
I'm sure you've realized by now, expecially if it's the same group of girls, that you don't have to plan too carefully. Just get them started, and they take over, and almost push you out of way (except when they are holding up their stuff "Look at this!" "Look at this!" "Put this on"!)