We had an absolutely awesome day of crafting yesterday afternoon.
We did something that brought me back to my own childhood. The beads that we worked with are known to me as halma perlen, but if you live in the modern world with Ikea they are known there as ‘Pyssla’. They are amazingly fun little beads to work with and are somewhat of a pre-curser to the design concepts needed to learn to do cross stitch.
The benefits to a child is that the designs are quicker to undertake than cross-stitch, require less dexterity and provide a tangible outcome in a relatively shorter period of time. The downside is that they are an absolute disaster if they are spilled everywhere. Believe me, it has happened in my home on more than one occasion. You will be finding them in strange locations for months, occasionally years. Thankfully, yesterday = no spills.
Step One: Pick a Design
The craft time started whilst I prepared lunch. It began with a Pintrest search and teaching the girls the basic premise of how to ‘pin’ the things they liked to a board. They took to it like ducks to water but really it is probably now commonplace to say that ‘they took to it like kids to technology’. They loved it. Over lunch we conversed over what they found that they liked and I was able to explain the limits of my template kits and help them form scope for their pieces of art.
After lunch and a wipe down of the table, we collectively reviewed over 100 pins on the only just created Halma Perlen board on our Pintrest site. The designs they preferred as their first attempt were printed and it was declared. “Let the crafting begin!”
Step Two: Manage your resources
Horses for courses, you learn a lot by just observing your children. You can see those who are impulsive just grab beads as needes from the pot, others evaluate the pot to ensure they have sufficient beads for the the colours of the design by estimation, some take the time to extract those colours and some even painstakingly count out the exact number of each colour as required by the design. It is intersting to see personalities emerge from the production process, definitely tea and cake material for the overseeing parent as you soak in the unique behaviours of each child. With each unique approach at play, bead placement to the board went into full swing.
Step Three: Inspire Others
In no time the studious efforts of the girls as recognisable designs of dolphins, foxes and unicorns came to life. Their resulting noises of excitement as they completed each piece did not go unnoticed. Immediately, two of the boys had their curiosity spiked and they came over to see that all the joyful sound was about. Suddenly they were motivated to do some craft themselves abandoning their computer time for something far more fun and interesting, if only someone would show them where to start.
After being tutored on how to find a design by their young teachers they started their searches on Pintrest for content that interested them also. Of course, all things football – Barcelona and Real Madrid. The awesome part is that Pintrest stood up the the test and delivered exactly what they were seeking. Then, seeing the completed works being ferried to the iron board was noticed by a third boy who then also joined in. It shows the swing of power the girls have over this family when they are excited and motivated. I just hope this doesn’t mean too many challenges as they mature!
And then the boys were completely engrossed too!
Step Three: Engage a parent to complete the craft and repeat as desired.
After one success, those who were focussed and keen went back for a second or third round too. Some doing things that simply interested them, others stepping up to take on more complex designs (like the one featured). Hello Kitty! It was great fun for all involved and it took much self -restraint to respect the ‘not near the hot iron rule’ because they were so desperate to be able to have them heated into completion. As a side note, the need to iron the art pieces also meant that a pile of clothing needing ironing over the weekend was suddenly completed too. It was a bonus to have them off my to-do list. So much effort, but also so much reward. I am so proud of them all.
For those who may be curious as to to the designs the children liked and were interested in completing, I have quite an active personal Pintrest account focused on craft, decor, home design and styling as well as some study snapshots. You can find all our halma perlen craft designs on my Pintrest board “Craft – Halma Perlen“. There are many thousands of designs on Pintrest so it is your oyster, plus many cross stitch designs can also be modified to this craft as well. Below are all their final products so you can see how impressed we were with the time they put in. I feel inspired by their focus, commitment and passion. I am simply impressed.