I went to a Learning Ladder party a couple of weeks back at a friend's house. Learning Ladder is a 'home demo' business that sells children's books and educational games. On the table there I saw something I have been thinking about buying for the girls for some time - a tub of cotton reels and string for threading them onto. As a teacher, I know that threading is fantastic for developing fine motor skills and those early pre-writing skills. However, I could not justify spending the $20 this tub of plastic reels cost.
It occurred to me that I might be able to make my own beads (See? The whole not-buying-anything-new thing is already starting to kick in!) Nath and I experimented with cooking some beads shaped out of pink playdough that my mum had made with the girls, but only a few turned out usable. I then remembered that I had a cupboard full of old jewellery that I no longer wear (having little babies with grabbing hands cured me of that obsession!) So I spent the girls' nap time today cutting up my motley collection of necklaces and bracelets and saving the beads for Miya.
I found an old basket that would be great to hold them in, but the gaps in the wicker were too big for some of the beads. At the local markets the other day, I picked up a bag of material scraps for $2, and in it was a lovely pink scrap just big enough for me to make a lining for the basket. Onto the sewing machine I hopped, and half an hour later I had a lovely ribbon-edged lining for Miya's bead basket. I'm pretty proud of myself!
She will love this little homemade/upcycled gift, and hopefully, with some beading wire and string from my old short lived beading hobby, it will provide her with hours of entertainment.