Creating with Nature – Beads, Wire and Cactus Wood

1 Mar

nature and beads - cactus wood, wire and beadsWe’re so lucky to live in Southern California where most days are sunny and beautiful, granted we’re having one of the worst droughts in history, but that’s a story for another blog.  Here, take a look at this beautiful art we created from cactus wood, wire and beads.  I’ve often walked into Reggio style classrooms and seen this kind of wood as the basis for mobiles and sculptures.  It always struck me as so beautiful, so when I saw a few pieces of cactus wood for sale at the Long Beach Flea Market, I went for it.  It was the end of the day so I got this long piece for 5 dollars, originally she wanted 15.  Score.  I love mixing art materials with nature and this beading activity is no exception.

Creating with Nature - Beading activity for toddlersI set up the cactus wood on our art table in the playhouse next to a shell filled with wooden beads.  I had prepared some cut up pieces of thick wire and started poking them through the wood.  Gigi quickly joined in.  We did the beading together at first and then she just took over.  The most interesting part was when she discovered she could fit the beads into the crevices of the wood.  She loved that part!  It was like they were hiding.   Now, I’m aware that most people don’t have old cactus wood laying around their house.  Please don’t dismiss this activity.  You could easily substitute it with cardboard and poke some holes in it or styrofoam, or even a pile of large rocks.  Anything that has little crevices to put the wire would work great.

Creating with Nature - Beading activity for toddlersBeading and Nature - Invitation to PlayAn activity like this is beneficial in many ways.  It develops fine motor skills and hand eye coordination.  It introduces new vocabulary; cactus, wood, wire, nature, shells etc.  It encourages decision making; Where should I put this bead?  Do I want to create a pattern?  What pattern do I want to create? Do these beads fit in the holes? Do all the beads fit in the holes?  Also, it shows that objects found in nature are important and can have more than one purpose.  Open ended art with interesting materials helps to build confidence and my personal favorite, outside the box thinking.  Try it!  You’ll like it.

Creating with Nature - Beading activity for toddlersBeading and Nature - Invitation to PlayNature is often an inspiration in our learning and creating.  If you like this idea I invite you to check out this nature wall idea that my kids loved.

Beading and Nature - Invitation to PlayCreating with Nature - Beading activity for toddlers

4 Responses to “Creating with Nature – Beads, Wire and Cactus Wood”

  1. Ana March 1, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    Oh my goodness, so cool!

    • Meri Cherry March 1, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

      Thanks Ana. Excited to explore more with cactus wood. It’s so cool!

  2. faigekobre March 2, 2014 at 2:22 am #

    So THAT”S what I can do with these huge pieces of styrofoam I’ve been saving

    • Meri Cherry March 2, 2014 at 3:38 am #

      Definitely Faige! That would work great.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: