Hand Made Clay Beads to Build Character

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This is a great way for kids to create a bead that represents something great about themselves.

These hand made clay beads necklaces are a great way to help kids think about what makes them special and is important enough to share.  When given the task to create enough of the same bead so that everyone in the group (Girl Scout troop, team or in the class) gets one and it needs to be something that represents themself,  kids put their brains to work. The Sculpey Bake Shop Clay classroom pack is perfect for groups!

Materials and Supplies Needed for Beads

There are a lot of different kinds of clay. I recommend Bake Shop from Sculpey for kids because it is easy to work with and comes in a huge variety of colors. I LOVE that they have a classroom pack for groups of kids working on a project.

  • Sculpey Bake Shop Clay
  • Clay Tools
  • Silicone Mat (can use parchment paper if you need a lot)
  • Oven for Baking
  • Yarn or Twine for Necklaces

Directions for Ladybug Beads

Start with red clay. Roll about 1/5 of a one ounce bar of Bake Shop into a ball then shape with hands into an oval. Roll a little bit of black clay out with the roller tool.

Wrap the black over the red to create a head then gently remove any extra and use fingers to mold the black into the red.

Use a cutting tool to make a little slit at the base of the ladybug to create two sides for wings.

Add little black dots of clay for the spots.

OPTIONAL – Add white and black clay eyes.

Poke a hole through the center. It is good to do this from both sides to make sure the hole is good all the way through. This will MATTER A LOT when it comes time to string the beads together.

Bake the beads at 275 degrees for 18 minutes. Once they are cool, it is optional to give them a clear coat to make them a little shiny and sturdier.

TIP:  If you are taking them to another location to bake, I recommend transferring them around in egg cartons.   If you would like for the kids to write a little about their bead for a classroom or Girl Scout troop scrapbook, here is a free printable to help out.

Tips for Making Clay Beads with Kids

Once they have decided, let kids choose up to three colors to work with.  If there are ten girls, they will need to make ten beads all the same (one for themselves and one for each girl).  If including leaders, be sure to get that in the count up front.  When instructing how to make the beads, include the following:

  • Make sure there is a large central piece that will sustain a hole through the middle.
  • Do not add parts that stick out much as they will break off.
  • Wash hands in between colors to keep from mixing.   You can use baby wipes if you are at a meeting without a sink.
  • Make the holes through the centers with either a wooden skewer or a clay too.
  • Be sure your tool for holes is wide enough that your chosen cord will go through it.

About the Classroom Pack of Clay

Sculpey Bake Shop clay is soft and easy to use, making it the perfect clay for beginners, students of all ages and classrooms! These 1 oz . bars are easy to divide up for students to share and create! Open up only as much as you need. Customize your class pack with any color combination you need! Choose 25 bars from 10 vibrant colors! Have multiple classrooms in need of clay? Add a couple of these packs to your cart to cover all of your students creative needs!

  • Choose 25 pieces of clay in any custom color combination you need for your lesson plan. Choose from: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Beige, Purple, White, Black & Brown
  • Stays soft until baked – Does not air dry. Remains soft and flexible until it is baked in your home oven.
  • Great for a variety of projects – school projects, figurines, holiday crafts and more!
  • After baking, it can be sanded, drilled, carved and painted with water-based acrylic paints.
  • Extra clay can be stored and reused – won’t dry out!
  • Safe and non-toxic!

Beads Made By Kids

Here are some great examples of beads made by 7th graders.  I would recommend this project be done from Juniors up.  The younger girls love clay and there are great things for them too but this project is a little more complicated.   If you need to step in and help a scout, do it.  It is important that they are all successful.

FREE Printable To Use with Beads

Why to Use Sculpey Clay with Kids

Using clay in the classroom allows students to be participatory in the learning process.  When students have ownership in the materials, they are more successful. Kids love clay. It is a great supply to use for so many reasons. Not only it is it fun, it also offers many developmental benefits to growing and learning. Here are a few.

  • Clay encourages sensory development.  The act of “playing” with clay is a multi-sensory hobby: touch, sight, smell—and even sound.
  • Working with clay develops coordination and motor skills.
  • It’s therapeutic and lessens anxiety.
  • Molding with clay extends attention span.
  • Playing and creating with clay builds imagination.
  • Creating with clay boosts self-esteem.

Sharing is Caring!

Too busy to make this right away?! Pin it for later!  Pin this project to your favorite craft board on Pinterest and it’ll be waiting for you when you’re ready.

How to Make Clay Beads with Kids to Build Character and Boost Self Confidence #sculpey #bakeshop #clayintheclassroom #kidcraft #campcraft #girlscoutcraft

I would really love to hear what you think about this fun bead idea with the classroom pack of clay! If you try it out, I would sure like to see it! Share on InstagramFacebook, or leave a comment/photo on the project pin on Pinterest! #LauraKellyDesigns

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23 thoughts on “Hand Made Clay Beads to Build Character”

  1. Love this idea – it would be great for my 2nd year Daisy’s. We have a lot of new girls and this would help them to get to know one another.

  2. This is such a good idea I’ve been looking for ways for my girls to earn the pottery badge for brownies… thank you for sharing ❤️

  3. What an absolutely fabulous and awesome idea for all ages! I can see my Indy Girls who consist of a Brownie,Cadette, and Ambassador just living this activity. Or as a day camp craft! Thanks so much!

  4. We’re going to use this great craft during our Journey in a day event. It’s perfect, the girls will love it. Thanks!

  5. I have added 10 girls to my troop. I think this is a great fun way for them to get to know each other. Thanks for the idea.

  6. This is a fantastic idea and the cards are an excellent edition. I think I’ll do this with my Girl Scouts and with the kids in the family. So great, thank you!

  7. This is such an awesome idea, I love the card idea to go along with them so the girl can explain why the bead represents her!

  8. I just wanted to say Thank You for the giveaway of the clay! I received it recently and am so excited to do this with our troop. Will likely be after Christmas but I know they are going to love t! It was so sweet of you to do the giveaway. Thanks so much.

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