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Wood Bead Garlands

With this arts and crafts activity, students work on fine motor skills, visual efficiency skills, and of course have the opportunity to practice self-determination skills by making choices.

Materials to make a garland out of wood and felt hearts

February is all about showing love to our friends and family. Let’s get crafty with some beads and jute to make a fun friendship craft. This activity isn’t just for gifting! Students will work on fine motor skills, visual efficiency skills, and of course have the opportunity to practice self-determination skills by making choices.

My students and I revisited stringing beads, a craft that we have done in the past for a variety of holidays. Instead of stringing them on a sturdy wire ring, they had to string them on jute. This can be problematic because finding the hole in the bead and then putting the jute through the hole can be difficult for students with visual impairments. To help with this, a plastic sewing needle was used to stabilize the jute as it is beaded. To aid several students in finding the hole in the bead, a red marker was used to trace the edge of the hole.

Completed project with two garland strings and hearts, one glitter and one fuzzy.

  There are many skills associated with stringing beads. Here are a few:

  • Improves eye-hand coordination
  • Grasping small objects
  • The coordination of using both hands together
  • Scanning work area for materials
  • Counting skills: counting the beads needed to complete the project
  • Soliciting assistance appropriately when needed
  • Organizing work area
Student's hands stringing the wooden beads.

One thing I haven’t shared to date is each monthly craft is prepackaged for the student. This includes all adaptations as needed. The bag is labeled with a name (or no name if I’m having a student make an extra one to share). This month, for example, the prepackaged bag contained 35 beads and the jute. The student chose the needle for the stringing and what heart to put on their finished product out of a larger container.

Student stringing wooden beads.

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