The Power of Parenting

Monday, 18 January 2021

Baker’s Clay Beads

Age Range: 4 years and older

This activity is great for children four and older due to the need for fine motor control. This is a great activity when the kids are at home for a few days since it requires time to make the beads, bake them and paint them.


You will need:
  • 4 cups  all-purpose flour, unsifted
  • 1 cup  salt
  • 1 ½ cups  water
  • Utensils to have ready: rolling pin, blunt knife, fork, toothpicks, and a pencil



  1. Mix salt and flour in bowl.
  2. Add water, mixing with fingers. If clay is too stiff, add a little more water. When mixed, take clay out of bowl and knead for about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Roll clay into snake shape pieces, cut into half-inch shapes and pierce with a pencil. Place on baking trays.
  4. Bake in moderate oven (about 325°F or 160°C) at least one hour.


Beads can be coloured with paint and made more durable by painting with clear gloss enamel or polyurethane.

*Children can thread beads on a string or piece of yarn to make a bracelet or necklace.


Here's what to do while you make it:
There are several stages involved in making the beads - making the clay, making the beads, baking them and then painting them as desired. Each stage of the process offers you a chance to talk about the materials involved, how they change, what happens when they are combined and what happens when heat is added into the mix.


* Remember that given the many stages involved, you may want to let your preschooler know this activity will take time - preschoolers often want instant results. This activity will require some patience so think about the suitability of the activity for your child. Also, this activity requires some fine motor coordination. The great thing is that if your child is struggling with fine motor skills, this is a fun way to get some practice in since the beads can be as big or small as she wants!


Here's what you can do once it is made:
Once the beads have been baked, children can make a variety of things such as jewellery, key chains and other items for themselves or as gifts. While decorating the beads, talk about how the materials have changed, the different shapes that you have ended up with, and what else you could make with this clay (be prepared, there may be another project that gets discovered using the clay!).


Enjoy this more with Comfort, Play & Teach™:

Comfort: Spending time with your child making the beads makes your child feel loved.

Play: Once the beads are made, so many things can be made. Both of you can use your imagination to think about what you will make with the beads. Don't limit yourself to jewellery. Think about games you can create and how the beads can be used for pieces. Or, think about gift ideas.

Teach: Any activity that involves mixing is a great "teach" moment. Talking to your child about the different ingredients, their qualities and what happens when they are put together are just a few of the things you can explore.