It is the FIRST day of my series, Girl Scout Projects to Build Character and Self Esteem. These hand made clay bead necklaces are a great way to help Girl Scouts (and all kids) think about what matters to them and is important enough to share. When given the task to create enough of the same bead so that everyone in the Girl Scout troop (or on the team or in the class) gets one and it needs to be something that represents herself, girls put their brains to work. Once everyone is complete and has shared their beads, all of the girls have a necklace with a bead to represent each girl. This post is sponsored by Sculpey but the opinions are my own. I used Sculpey’s polymer clay Sculpey III in this post.
A great choice of clay to use for this project is Sculpey III. It comes in a huge assortment of colors and is really easy to mold and work with. I would recommend having the girls brainstorm things that make them special before getting into the clay. Once they have decided, let them choose up to three colors (more if you are brave) to work with. If you have ten girls, they will need to make ten beads all the same (one for themselves and one for each girl). If you are 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.
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.
I love this one.
Once the beads are done, bake them according the directions in the packaging.
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 girls to write a little about their bead for a troop scrapbook, here is a free printable to help out.
Here are three of the done ones.
Be sure to have the girls pass their beads out one at a time, after sharing a little with the troop about why this was their choice and how it represents them. Ask questions and try to get them to express themselves in this opportunity. Once they are all passed out, you can give them the cords or strings to put them together. Ta Da!
Cheers to finding creative ways that help girls (and all kids) express themselves. Cheers to building team and creating connection through art. Cheers to Girl Scouts!
P.S. Be sure to check back for the next couple of weeks. I will be sharing LOTS of great Girl Scout