artsy fartsy,  Bug

Pipe Cleaners for your Littlest Jeweler!

choosing each one carefully

I got a package of beads in the mail the other day from a fellow etsy shopkeeper. We traded some alphabet cards for a bunch of beads that would be “Baby-Bug safe.” I was a bit worried that Bug might be too young for them. Not because she could choke on them but more because she often gets frustrated when she can’t do something that she really wants to do, like stick a flimsy piece of string through a little hole in the center of a bead. Even though I know it is good for her to get frustrated sometimes and work through it, it’s not so pleasant for me to watch her crumple onto the floor in tears because her brain wants to do something her fingers can’t.


I figured I’d try anyway. I had dinner to cook and I just wanted her to be occupied in some way besides watching cartoons all the live-long day. I set the beads on the coffee table in a jar along with the cording that Carleen had sent us. There were also some pipe cleaners on the table that we had been making spiders out of earlier in the day. I just hadn’t gotten around to putting them away.

her workbench

As I was cooking away I noticed it was terribly quiet in the living room. I looked over and much to my surprise, Baby Bug was making necklaces without a hint of frustration. She was stringing the beads onto the pipe cleaners. No needle, no knots, no fuss, no mess! What a brilliant idea! Who needs cording when you can make bendable necklaces and bracelets and more out of pipe cleaners! My child is a genius!

pants not necessary

It kept her busy for quite a while. It was great.

I iz fierz!

I’m not so sure the cats appreciated it though…

p.s. Yes, I know I need to do my kid’s hair. She doesn’t look like that all day. Just when she wakes up from her nap and we have crazy Santa Ana weather.


  • Azul

    Chico loves stringing beads on pipecleaners. FYI, you can find oversized, brightly-colored plastic beads at places like JoAnn or Wally’s. Chico strings them onto pipecleaners, er, excuse me, I mean Chenelle Stems (’cause we’re fancy like that) and then we join several to make insects or animals.

  • ame i.

    There ya go, girl-child! If only I could more often remember not to over-complicate things. Thank you for the reminder, precious child.
    Hee-hee, Azul said Chenelle Stems! Yeah, time for bed for this lady.

  • Cheney

    If you haven’t already, try giving Baby Bug a pile of loose change and a piggy bank to occupy herself for a while. I taught my daughter all about money like this, and she is so cute whenever she sees money now. “Quarters!” “Pennies!” And I say, Sweetie, it’s for Disneyworld.

  • Britt

    My littlun was calling to go do “PRAWJEK! PRAWJEK!” and I was finishing an email and decided to glance here first. SO glad I did!

    Got some gold costume buttons I’d purchased for a Roman party WAY before Maggie (age 2) was born and some pipe cleaners and she had a blast for about 45 minutes. We’re going to watch a little Curious George and head back up for “MORE PRAWJEK!”

  • mary

    My 2.5yo is always happiest when her hair can “blow away” like a big girl. It naturally parts on the side, rather like BB’s, so it’s not in her face too much.

    And we have plastic beads and elastic cord. I have always helped with the elastic cord (not because she can’t string them, but because the beads fall off the other end). I would never have though of the pipe cleaners. We will have to try that.

  • bluejaye

    If the beads are falling off the other end you can tie a knot around a bead as a stop. Then remove it when she is done stringing the beads and tie a knot with both strings.