My kids love building with toothpicks. They are a staple in our tinker space. But, this summer when my boys were into Perler Beads, I discovered that they easily fit on toothpicks. A new activity was born – I knew we had to try building with Perler Beads and toothpicks.
A creative activity can be such a great way to spend time with your kids, to slow down and really connect. With two boys, 8 and 10, its getting harder to entice them to do an art activity with me. It just means I have to get a bit more creative! Adding food into the mix is a sure fire hook for kids of any age.
We’ve used marshmallows, gumdrops and playdoh to be the “glue”. We tried Dots this time. My kids love to eat Dots, which caused me to have to make another Dot run, but added to the fun!
Toothpicks-we used colored toothpicks to turn things up a notch, but plain are fine, too.
Dots(or gumdrops, mini-marshmallows, play-do(least likely to be eaten)
The simple how-to:
This is so simple and yields such great results. I guarantee you will be hooked! We put the Perler Beads onto several toothpicks before we started to build. It was nice to have a stash, but you can prepare the toothpicks as you build. Go random with the Perlers or create a fun pattern.
Attach Dots to the end of the toothpicks as you begin to connect them to build a structure.
Keep connecting to create shapes and fantastic structures!
What shapes can you make?
Can you make a two story structure? How about three?
How would you craft a sturdy mini chair?
What would a small house look like?
Can you make the letters of you name?
Write a short message, photograph it and send it to a friend.
More than just fun
The open-ended nature lets kids really express their creativity. As they work, your child’s fine motor skills are being honed. Rudimentary building skills are being developed. as your kids discover how to support their structures.
Problem solving skills are being used as they make their ideas in their head come to life. Concentration increases. You can talk about shapes using great vocabulary words like hexagon or vertex!
But most importantly, a creative project such as this can be a great opportunity to connect with your kids, talk about their day, their friends-you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what comes up.
I’d love to hear how this goes when you try it–or let me know all about your favorite creative family activity. Art can be a great way to help anxious kids, too!! I always love to hear what special activities families use to connect in meaningful ways.
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