Rollercoaster Mum: Have you heard of Hama Beads?

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Thursday, 11 October 2012

Have you heard of Hama Beads?

Well have you? When I first came across them I imagined children with hammers in their hand doing a spot of DIY with beads - the mind boggled! Of course with two 'making' mad girls I soon learnt that they were nothing to do with DIY or hammers.

Hama beads are in fact very clever cylindrical plastic beads that come in a multitude of colours. They come packaged with little plastic boards with pegs on. The idea is that you put the beads on the pegs and make patterns or pictures with them. The boards can be square or shaped like an animal or heart that you just need to 'colour in' with the beads. Once the pattern is finished just take a bit of ironing or greaseproof paper, cover the beads and iron. The beads fuse together with the heat and hey presto you have a bead structure that you can stick on doors, hang up or even use as coasters! They come in three sizes but mostly people use the midi range which is suitable for 5 years plus (although Little Miss Sunshine has used these with supervision from age 3).
Hama Bead board and ironing Hama Beads
We are rather a fan of Hama Beads in this house. The girls love that they can make all sorts of things and patterns with them and I (being completely OCD about crafty mess) love the fact that they are pretty much mess free - no paint, no glue, no playdough - hurray!!! (they can spill all over the floor but at least they don't stick to it!)
The Hama Beads kept them quiet!

So we were delighted to be sent some Hama Beads from the lovely Craft Merrily recently. We got two fab packs - one with hippo and mouse shaped boards and a great tray to keep the beads in and another to make a dolphin mobile complete with a mobile ring to hang the finished beadwork on.

The girls pounced on them as soon as they came in from school and that was it  - peace until teatime (almost.) All I had to do was iron the finished products and mediate in the usual fight as to who was doing what first (they both wanted to start with the dolphin!)
Little Miss Sunshine doing the Hama Bead dolphin
Officially Little Miss Sunshine is too young for these at not quite 5 but she has enough dexterity now to use the midi beads well and I am sure that using them helps in getting those all important fine motor skills. I helped her a little with some of the fiddlier details on the hippo and the mouse but she managed the dolphin all by herself with the exception of the placing of the eye. She is now planning to cover her entire bedroom door in Hama Bead creations!
Hama Bead hippo and mouse on Little Miss Sunshine's bedroom door (and yes they are the wrong way round but that's what she wanted!)

Little Miss Star is adept at Hama beads of course and likes to make her own designs as well like this little robin. For older kids like her you can get some fab ideas for Hama Bead designs and projects on Bead Merrily. I'm planning to try out the autumn leaves - they look amazing.  
Little Miss Star's Hama Bead robin
Our favourite kit was definitely the dolphin mobile which we have now completed and they are competing as to whose room it will hang in - I guess we will just have to make another one!

The Hama Bead dolphin mobile completed!
Not only are Hama Beads a great and inexpensive craft for kids of all ages - even teenagers like them, they also make great presents. Craft Merrily have a fantastic selection of kits and are well worth checking out for Hama Beads (and all sorts of other - but messier - crafty delights!)

Disclosure - I was sent the products mentioned in the review for free but all words and views are my own. 

4 comments:

  1. Hama Beads are a first favourite in this house :) Such great entertainment for all. Love your pics.

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  2. Ah, I had them as a child now my children play with them a lot:) They're brilliant for all sorts of things.

    http://oddparent.blogspot.dk/

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  3. I thought I might get some of these for my god daughters for Christmas. One is 3.5 and the other is 5.5 do you think they are too young?

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    1. No I wouldn't say so although you might be better getting the maxi beads for the 3.5 year old - they are similar but slightly bigger so easier for little hands! Their mum certainly won't complain which they might if it was something like play dough (hate the stuff - gets trodden in the carpet - grrr!)

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