One of the best things about plastic beads is that they are available in such a wide range of colors, shapes and styles. One of the most popular types of beads for children are plastic alphabet beads. As the name suggests, these beads are made of plastic and styled in either the shapes of letters of the alphabet, or with letters of the alphabet painted onto them. Using plastic alphabet beads to create bracelets is a quick and fun project to do with members of a kids’ club or youth group.
Although alphabet beads are available in a range of different materials, including gold and silver, plastic beads are a great choice for use with a big group of kids, because these plastic beads are relatively inexpensive. With these beads, it will not matter if a few beads go missing, because the price per bead will be so low. In order to get the best value for your beads for this craft project, you should consider buying your beads from a wholesale supplier, because these suppliers offer larger numbers of beads at low prices. If alphabet beads are sold by individual letters, take time to consider which letters you will need most of (E, T and A) and which letters you will need least (Q, X and Z). You should also buy lots of plain beads as well to make up the rest of the bracelet.
When you are buying your beads, you should also get some thin, colored elastic. Elastic is a good choice for these bracelets, because it is also inexpensive and easy to work with. Choose the elastic based on the color of your beads, or pick a neutral color which will not clash. It is not usually possible to see much of the elastic, but it can stick out like a sore thumb if you pick a clashing color.
Using scissors, help the children to cut pieces of elastic which are just long enough to go around their wrists, and then get them to tie a secure knot in the elastic, about 1 centimeter (1/2 an inch) away from one end. The children can then begin to thread some of the plain plastic beads onto the other end of the elastic. The knot should prevent these beads from falling off of the elastic. When they are getting near to the centre of the elastic, the children should then choose alphabet beads to spell out their names. You may need to help some of the younger children, to make sure that they get the spelling right. Once all of the letters are in place, finish off the bracelet with more plain beads, then tie the two ends together.
It should be possible for the children to take these bracelets on and off by stretching them slightly so that they fit over their hands and onto their wrists. These bracelets will be very versatile and should be strong enough for the children to wear as they work and play.