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Gia has been out of preschool for almost two weeks and already I find myself trying to think of things to keep her busy. She’s kind of on her way to Boredom-ville. We had her signed up for camp but, due to low enrollment, camp was cancelled.
At first it was no big deal. I’ll have her all to myself, all summer, I thought. After all, this is the last time it’ll be just me and her. Next summer we’ll have a little brother around here, tearing up the place.
Last week, with my mom’s birthday quickly approaching, and one little girl who was itching to get out and do something other than go to Shop Rite, I took Gia to Bazaar Star Beadery in Ridgewood. I’d been there in 2008 to make “something blue” for my wedding (a pretty blue crystal ankle bracelet that I still have).  Because it was featured on the Real Housewives of NJ a few weeks ago, it was back on my radar. Before we went I called & asked if Gia, at nearly 3, would be old enough to bead. I thought it would be fun for her to make a bracelet for Yadi for her birthday.
I told Gia where we were going and she was SO excited. When we got there she was dazzled by all the beads all over the place. She quickly decided she wanted to make a bracelet for herself and for Yadi. She was so jazzed up–how could I say no?
The girl who worked there gave her a little cup and told her to pick 3-5 special beads. The selections were endless and it took a bit of negotiating to get Gia to agree to choose beads that she liked and that were practical for a 3 year old. We ended up with 2 teal stars and 1 pink bunny. (The special beads she chose were so huge we only needed 3.)
Then we picked the filler beads. They have an entire row of EASY beads — they’re bigger and therefore easier to string up. They’re meant for younger beaders. This time I was smart and I picked 3 colors that would look ok with Gia’s bunny and stars and let her choose from them. She chose silver beads.

They set us up at big table in the back. Gia had to count out 5 silver beads & put them on the stretchy string and then put a special bead. Then 5 more silvers and another special bead. And so on.
Not only was it so much fun, but it was a really good learning experience for Gia. She loves to count and she happily lined up the silver beads in groups of 5 and then strung them on the string. Work those fine motor skills, baby!

  It took her just under 30 minutes of intense concentration to complete her project. She was so proud of herself when she was finished.

The shop girl whisked the beaded string away to “finish it” (tie it together properly) and Gia helped me make a bracelet for my mom in the meantime.   When the girl came back with Gia’s finished bracelet, Gia held out her arm and put it on right away. She hasn’t taken it off. Every night before bed she takes it off and puts it on her nightstand. And every morning she puts it back on.    

  ps. If you’re interested in price information on how much it costs to bead, send me a message on The Quinntessential Mommy’s FB page & we’ll talk! (Be sure to ‘Like’ it too!)

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