For an extra Easter treat I like to get the boys something other than a chocolate egg. Usually it’s a game we can play together such as Mousetrap or Gator Goal. This year I thought they had plenty of games, especially as we got BBQ Party at Christmas and Big Robot recently spent his pocket money on Operation. That’s a lot of games, time for something different this Easter.
So I thought a new craft activity would be ideal and I’d seen adverts for Beados, Aquabeads and Hama Beads lately. All are a similar idea, little coloured beads you create pictures with. I wasn’t sure which was best. I worried that Beados and Aquabeads might not stick together and stay together forever as they only stick by spraying on water. I also saw that Hama Beads, which you iron to stick them together, were available in big tubs and also Hobbycraft have an own brand version which work the same and are cheaper.
So I bought the Hama Beads Bumper Activity Set for £9.99 in Argos and on Easter Day we gave it a go. It comes with two boards (one square and one fairy shaped) and 4000 multicoloured beads. It was a complete success. Big Robot got started on it first and, with some help to copy the picture, he made a car. I found there was no instructions on ironing the picture aside from put the ironing paper (included in the box) on top and iron. I turned off the steam and used a medium to hot iron and had a go. The beads stuck together brilliantly. I let it cool for a few moments and tried to peel the bead picture off the board, I was a little worried it’d all fall apart at this point but no, it stayed stuck together.
A word of warning about the ironing though. You just want to iron it until you can see the the top of the beads are melting and smooshed together a bit. You don’t need to apply lots of pressure and you don’t want to keep ironing past this point. I say this because my husband had a go at ironing one and he melted a few pegs on one of the boards! He couldn’t get the picture off and gave it to me when I saw that, in one corner, he’d melted the beads together all the way through and the pegs had started melting and the board warping! It doesn’t need long at all, just keep checking it as you iron.
After Big Robot made a car, he wanted to make a mechanic man so we used the fairy shaped board for a person shape but didn’t put beads on the wings or dress areas, instead making a man wearing dungarees. Little Robot wanted to play now and, after I ironed the mechanic, he wanted to make a fairy.
The next day we took a trip to Hobbycraft to see what beads they sold and the boys chose a few packs. Silver and gold, glow in the dark and neon pink were only £2 for a pack of 1000 beads. We also bought another square board and a circle board. Little Robot immediately wanted to make a Captain America shield with the circle board and chose glow in the dark beads and gold beads for it (yes, Captain Americas shield is red, white and blue but glow in the dark is cool and the shiny red looks more like gold to Little Robot).
So in a nutshell, we love Hama Beads. The boys love creating pictures that they can pick up and keep. Little do they know they’re practicing their fine motor skills at the same time! I love that they are cheap and keep them entertained for hours.
I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.