Make Montessori Christmas clay beads as gifts, tree decorations, or just for fun! Materials needed: clay, paint, confetti or glitter glue. To make clay beads you need some clay. I bought a small, 5 pound bucket of Crayola white 'air-dry clay' at a local Michael's craft store on sale. You can order it on Amazon.com here. It is best to order small amounts at a time because the clay dries out after so many months. (When it does dry out, add 1/4 of water over the clay and let sit over night.)
We used an ice cream scooper for the clay to scoop it out. If your child is too young for the ice cream scooper, make several scoops and place them in another container for the child to access.
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After you scoop out the clay, roll into a small ball (but big enough to poke a hole in with a pencil or paint brush end). If your child is too young to roll clay, make several pre-rolled balls of clay in a separate container.
Poke a hole in the clay on both ends with a pencil or paint brush end. Let dry for about three days, however, continue making more beads each day if your child is interested.
Paint your clay bead: I like using Crayola Washable Kids Paint. There are eight colors; you can just put a paint brush in the small containers of paint; it washes easily; and you can wash out and reuse the small bottles by adding more paint! See them here on Amazon.com. You can also buy large bottles of paint (to refill the small bottles of paint) like these here on Amazon.com.
We made two beads, painted them red, waited for them to dry (half a day); and then we painted them with glitter/confetti glue but not the squeeze kind. I used bottled glitter/confetti glue: it comes in six colors, in individual bottles, and the lids have paint brushes! However, my son has a hard time with the lidded paint brushes so I took the lids away, put them in water so the brushes wouldn't dry out, and used a regular, thin paint brush.
This is the glitter glue I used: Elmer's Shimmer 'n Shine Shimmering Shapes. You can Google it or call a local art store. I bought mine at Michael's. I searched for these on Amazon.com and found a different one with different colors but it was $25! Don't spend that much money on these! Try and make your own with clear glue and glitter/confetti shapes, 1) like this--for doing nails, and or 2) this foil confetti here.
My son applied the glitter glue with a paint brush (after the red paint had dried). We used a small cap from a spice bottle to hold the bead. You may want to put a small towel under the tray so the bead does not break if dropped.
My new anthology!
Learn about me and my affordable online Montessori programs for birth to nine-year-olds at my website Montessori for the Earth!
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Looking for MORE Montessori Christmas activities? Check out the new, affordable PDF A Merry Montessori Christmas: Activities for 2-6 Year Olds - by Aubrey Hargis of the Montessori Mischief blog!
You’ll also get teaching support in her Montessori for Christmas Facebook group, where "she’ll share pictures, ask questions, and discuss what modifications she made to accommodate the different ages of her children. She’ll inspire and encourage in the crazy and exciting countdown until Christmas! Join here. Of course, she’ll be there every day to answer any questions you have about the lessons or presentations."