Did you know you can use pony beads for something more than patterns or simple counting activities with preschoolers? You can use plastic pony beads to make decorative Christmas crafts together. These snowflake melted bead ornament Christmas crafts for kids are easy to make and SO beautiful. You can hang them as sun-catchers in the windows after you take down your Christmas tree! A fun way to make the house bright and pretty after the holidays.
With just a handful of supplies and some adult supervision, your kids will enjoy creating their magical melted beads snowflake craft.
Did I mention this is like an awesome science experiment?!
As your students work to create their pony bead pattern and watch it get melted down, they’re learning about irreversible change and what happens when you take a solid item and place it under high heat.
How to use Beads to Teach Math?
As I said earlier in this article, you can use beads to teach kids simple counting math. Your kids will enjoy this clever way of learning math even better than simply counting. As your preschooler places a bead into their snowflake cookie cutter have them count, and make a note of which number they’re on. Soon your kids will be learning simple addition as they add numbers together to come up with the final answer of how many beads it takes to make a melted beads snowflake.
Tips for Using Pony Beads with Preschoolers
Toddlers can work with beads as young as age two, but some toddlers need to use larger beads. You can easily use larger beads for this melted bead snowflake craft for kids who struggle with fine motor skills. Another great tool is to use a pair of large tweezers for preschoolers who may struggle with grasping onto the small pony beads.
This craft for kids is a great way to encourage a love of the arts, all the while helping your kids learn more about colors, math and the science of what happens when beads are heated.
Safety note: Make sure you provide close supervision when using beads for this craft for preschoolers. As you know some tend to put beads up their mouth, in their ears and even up their nose.
Can You Put Plastic Pony Beads in the Oven?
Yes, you can put pony beads in the oven.
For this craft, you’ll preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the time of melting will vary depending on how many beads are used and what type of bead is used for this kid’s craft, the estimated time to melt the beds for this craft is 15 minutes. Make sure you check the beads every 5 minutes and take them out once the snowflake design is fully melted. Otherwise you’ll end up with a burnt snowflake.
And nobody wants that…
How Do You Make Melted Bead Ornaments?
Making a melted pony bead craft is super easy! All you need is plastic beads, metal cookie cutters, baking dishes, and an oven (or a toaster oven.)
I prefer to use pony beads for making melted bead art, but you can mix in glass beads for a different look. I’ve never tried with all glass beads, so I don’t have any experience with those results.
You can also use perler beads, but the results will be opaque and it won’t work well for a sun catcher.
How to Make Melted Bead Snowflakes
As you get ready to make these melted bead snowflakes, gather up the simple list of supplies below and follow the step by step instructions.
All of these materials are easy to find in your local craft stores or you can grab them on Amazon with the affiliate links below.
I love to purchase my metal cookie cutters at my local thrift store. It’s the perfect place to get a lot of cookie cutters for a low price. I prefer to have one cookie cutter for each child so that no one has to wait while the other kids are creating their melted bead art project.
Also, you definitely want metal cookie cutters for this project. Since the whole goal is to melt the plastic beads, you do not want to use a plastic cookie cutter. Seems logical enough, but I may know someone who didn’t think of that…
And if you don’t have a metal snowflake cookie cutter, you can always use a metal muffin tin to create circle melted bead sun-catchers instead.
- Plastic pony beads
- Metal cookie cutters or a metal muffin tin
- Baking pan
- Aluminum foil or parchment paper
- Drill fitted with ⅛ inch drill bit
Transparent Multicolor Mix Plastic Pony Beads 6x9mm, 1000 Beads Bulk BagSnowflake Cookie Cutters Metal Cake Cutters for Fondant Decorating Fruit Cutter Sandwich Cutter Kids Biscuit Cutter and Bread Cutter 2 Set 14 PCS
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Line the baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil to protect the pan and make it easier to release the ornaments from the pan.
Place cookie cutters on aluminum foil in baking pan. Fill each ornament with a single layer of beads. Use a toothpick or bamboo skewer to arrange the beads.
Every melted bead snowflake will look different depending on the beading designs within the cookie cutters. You can work to create stripes, polka dots or just leave the design completely random.
Carefully put the baking sheet in the oven and melt the beads. The time can vary based on the type of bead and the size of the ornaments.
Begin checking at 5 minutes. (My ornaments took 15 minutes to melt.) The ornaments are ready when the beads are melted and the hole in each bead has disappeared.
You may want to crack a window while the melted bead suncatchers are being made because there is a bit of a melting plastic smell. This is perfectly normal.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely prior to removing from the cookie cutters. To remove the ornaments, gently pull the sides of the cookie cutter away from the ornament.
Use the drill to create a small hole in each ornament for hanging.
Making melted bead art is super easy. Whether you want to use them for Christmas ornaments, sun catchers or gifts is totally up to you.
Planning for a Winter Theme? We’ve done all the work for you!
We now have interactive thematic lesson plans for toddlers (18-35 months) AND preschoolers (3-5 years)! Get ready for fun and learning with unit lesson plans for your WINTER THEME. Explore a variety of themed hands-on activities! Easy to follow lesson plans include activity modifications and adaptations to meet the needs of all learners. For more information, click on the graphics below: