I can't help say that... hama beads. Have you heard of them? I remember them from my childhood, I remember them as an activity on Brownie Pack Holidays in particular. They were right up my street then, and they still are now!
A few weeks ago, DKL Marketing Ltd offered Ethan and I the chance to try out and review a Hama Beads set on my blog. I knew I'd love it, I wasn't sure if Ethan would or not. Turns out he loves "Hama Time" as we now call it.
We were sent a "My First Hama Beads" set which is suitable for ages 3+ and are the largest sized Hama Beads. Bigger than the ones I was used to as a child (but I was much older than Ethan when I used them!) but just right for his grip and fingers. The set includes three peg boards onto which you place the beads (three designs, a whale, a bear and a tortoise) and enough beads to make at least two of each. As soon as Ethan saw the box he wanted to have a go. As it turns out, Hama Beads are the perfect half term entertainment!!
The first design Ethan wanted to have a go at was the whale. I was surprised by how well the beads kept his attention and how well he was able to follow the guide picture. He stuck to the design (with some guidance from me) apart from one difference - he wanted his whale to have pink lips. That was fine with me!! I'm all for following a design, that's a skill in itself, but I also want him to have his own creative flair!
It took Ethan about 15 minutes to get his design finished and then we went into the kitchen so I could do the "adult" part of the craft - ironing the beads. This is essential. The heat of the iron melts the beads together so your design can come off the peg board and be played with/looked at/enjoyed/mounted in a frame. Don't worry, you use special paper (rather like greaseproof paper but provided by Hama) between the beads and your iron. Otherwise you'd have a real mess! I found this bit easy easy. You have to do it quite slowly, moving your iron in circular movements, but it's easy to do. You can tell when the design is melted together sufficiently because it's much clearer to see through the ironing paper. Once you've ironed your design, that's it. You can't use those beads again. But why would you want to when you have such a lovely craft item to show off!!!
Ethan is very proud of his whale and we have since made a bear. We'll have a go at the tortoise next. I'm planning a purchase of beads for myself because I think I'll be able to make fab tree decorations for Christmas with them!!
I think this is truly the craft for us. It's bright, fun, easy for Ethan to do with quick results and it's pretty mess free (a great thing in my book!).
***This is not a sponsored post. We were provided the Hama Bead set free of charge from DKL but all opinions are my own***