Making our own beads in preschool

We are going to have a Thanksgiving Feast in just a couple of weeks so to get ready, we have been making our costumes. Today, we made our beads which we will thread on Thursday…

We are making our beads out of pasta. I found these very short tube pasta noodles with wide holes for threading.  The children helped Miss Abby dye the pasta today…

The children scooped a handful of pasta into a bowl that had some vinegar and food color in it then used the spoon to stir it around for a few minutes….

Then they used the spoon to scoop out the pasta onto trays covered with paper towels…

Our class uses food color often so they understood that they had to be sure to use the spoon to transfer and stir the pasta. They did a terrific job.  The color you see on the hands in these photos was from markers not food color:) …

Yes, we did get some on our table but we were able to wipe it right off with a disposable Clorox towel.  Using food color like this can be tricky.  When you dilute it in a tub of water, like for water play, it doesn’t stain your hands but when you use it in a concentrated form like this, it can leave a little color on your hands but the color will come out after a few hand washes. The color will not rub off of the pasta once it is dry so the children can handle the pasta without worry.  We set the pasta out to dry for a couple of  hours and now it is all ready to go for making necklaces this week…

We will use twine for the string and the children will thread their own bracelets and necklaces. The twine is nice and stiff and doesn’t fray at the ends so it makes it easier for the children to do the threading process on their own…

I love how we ended up with two colors of pasta – we have more natural colors and some bright colors for the children to choose from…

We have so many things to do to get ready for our Feast!

By |2011-11-09T09:00:23+00:00November 9th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. jackie November 9, 2011 at 10:49 am - Reply

    Your beads are gorgeous, Deborah! The children did a great job!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 9, 2011 at 12:09 pm - Reply

      Thank you Jackie:)

  2. lynette November 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    Lovely beads and postcards! I have been following you for the past few weeks. I rencently went back to preschool teaching (august), but due to the economy our church’s preschool/daycare is closing thursday November 10. It’s been such a sad time. In the future I hope to refer back to your website.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm - Reply

      I am sorry to hear that they will be closing – it is a sad time. I hope you will continue to join me here in the mean time and things work out well for your future!

  3. Barbara November 9, 2011 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    love the beads and we will have to make some too. we have made cute paper pilgrim girl and boy hats/ native american headdresses in the past..anxious to see your ideas for costumes! Each year we have a “dinner” with all kinds of good food that the little ones enjoy: chicken nuggets, fries, applesauce, pumpkin muffins, etc. the children make their own table favors and placemats and we sing our favorite Thanksgiving songs.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 9, 2011 at 10:27 pm - Reply

      If we can fit it all in, we will be making most of our table settings as well! We will also be making most of the food we will eat at our Feast but I have to work on the menu a bit still. As for costumes, we have made our vests and I have to still try and write that blog post up tonight::)

  4. Barbara November 9, 2011 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    BTW wondering why you used vinegar with food coloring instead of alcohol for this project. Is one better than the other?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 9, 2011 at 10:24 pm - Reply

      No – they work just about the same. I just happen to have vinegar on hand:)

  5. Nanci November 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    I used to do this but over the years at our school we did a lot of talking about not using food for crafty projects. I just think it doesn’t send a good message to kids in these times when we are talking about not being not being wasteful and there are families out there that are struggling financially that need their food to eat.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 11, 2011 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      As you can see from my blog that I see things a little differently. I do believe that food experiences, other just eating, can lead to amazing learning opportunities and that all children should be given opportunities to explore foods using all of their senses which will lead to more meaningful conversations and understandings about their world.

  6. Kimira November 11, 2011 at 1:27 am - Reply

    I love short pasta necklaces, they make a great learning activity for my two year old. As an alternative to twine, you can try taping a toothpick to one end of a string

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 11, 2011 at 8:42 am - Reply

      I haven’t tried taping a toothpick – but that would make a good “needle” and I always have them on hand!

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