My daughter started kindergarten this year and although I’m excited for this next step in her life, part of me is sad that we no longer have our afternoons free to craft together. I’ve started gathering ideas for activities that we can still do together that don’t require quite as much time or make as much of a mess so we can still squeeze in a craft together in the evening or on a weekend. We were excited when Beados offered to send us their product to try as it looked like just that.
Everyone chose their favorite design and placed it under the purple tray. Although the back has tabs to hold the card designs in place we were a little frustrated while working that they slipped around a bit. This made it hard to keep the colored beads aligned. I’d suggest using a small bit of tape to hold your designs in place.
The Beados Starter Kit comes with the Pod Pen which allows you to load several beads of one color for faster designing.
eginning a Beados™ world is easy with the Beados Starter Pack! Offering out-of-the-box play, the Starter Pack includes 400 beads, one Pod Pen, two design trays, and a spray bottle, so kids can bring imaginative designs to life with just a few sprays. This pack also comes with six design templates, an instruction booklet and four pods for the interchangeable Pod Pen to help kids organize their beads by color. Two connectors and a display stand allow kids to show off their designs.
Filling the bead pods was easy with the funnel they provide. I was a bit surprised at how long it took to put together all of the pieces before we could start crafting however. Nothing was complicated. There were just a lot of parts to prepare and beads to open.
Beados provides a bead tray to sort your colors. Although we did use this to sort initially the kids found it too deep to easily grab beads. Since the beads themselves easily shifted on the trays it also became a hassle for the three kids to share this one tray and reach over one another. Instead I got out three small plates and filled them with an assortment of the beads that they needed and this seemed to work better. The Tweezer Pen was also a bit difficult to use for little fingers as it often made the beads roll when placing on the tray.
You create the design by placing colored beads next to each other on the tray using the colored pattern behind it as a guide.
Since the pods of beads had all of one color and we only had one to share among many we initially put all of the beads of a single color on the tray first. I’d suggest working from the top of the pattern to the bottom instead so little hands don’t knock beads accidentally. We also found it hard to put beads of other colors between the already placed beads. It worked best to work in rows from top to bottom and take turns switching bead pods when necessary.
The kids fought over using the Pod Pen because it looked like such a fun tool to use. For the most part it worked well but the tip where the beads came out often made the neighboring bead roll. This was especially true for the Beados Tweezer Pen (shown above with the blue tray).
I grabbed a pair of my cosmetic tweezers instead so each of the kids had a tool to use and all of the kids agreed that it was easier to use and eventually fought of this and their plate of beads instead of the Pod Pen and tray provided.
Eventually fingers were used and that worked well too. Because of the very small details and the likelihood of these beads rolling off of the pattern I’d suggest this craft for kids with fairly advanced small motor skills and a good bit of patience.
For three very active kids this was a good lesson in attention and patience working with these little beads and patterns.
When the pattern was complete we used the provided spray bottle with only water to set our designs. Four sprays held at a distance was all it took to adhere the beads. No heat or glue needed making this a safe and mess-free craft for kids. I did use a vinyl tablecloth to keep the table dry and easily clean up later. TIP: Tape the tablecloth down if you choose to use one. When the kids reached across the table or moved the tablecloth in any way their designs shifted or beads rolled and frustration set in.
Finished designs were carefully placed under the Quick Dry Station where a simple fan helped them dry faster. It took about 20 minutes to dry. Without this fan Beados suggests drying overnight.
This is another test in patience waiting for designs to dry.
I sent the kids to go play elsewhere and moved the drying station from one design to the next until all of them were set. (Tip: Move the drying station, not the designs to avoid beads rolling away.)
I used the design card to carefully remove the dried design from the tray.
Unfortunately the corner beads were loose.
Unfortunately every design had small beads on the edge that were loose so I sprayed them again and then turned the design over to spray the back side which is suggested for a more secure design and let them all dry once more.
Two of the designs fit well into the display stand. The small legs of the unicorn were too narrow to use them though. Unfortunately neither kit had the connector beads that were supposed to be included. These would have allowed for a small suction cup to be inserted into the center to display in a window. Regardless all of the kids were excited about their creations and had fun making them.
- BEADOS™ THEME REFILL PACK (Approx. Retail Price: $7.99/Ages 4 years & up) The Beados™ Refill Pack is the perfect way to add new designs to a growing Beados world! Available in six different themes, including Puppies at Play, Ballet Concert and Ice Cream Treats, each Refill Pack includes 500 beads, six design templates, one small play-pad, one scene card, a bead storage tray, three suction cups, two display stands and an instruction booklet.
- BEADOS™ STARTER PACK (Retail Price: $12.99/Ages 4 years & up) Beginning a Beados™ world is easy with the Beados Starter Pack! Offering out-of-the-box play, the Starter Pack includes 400 beads, one Pod Pen, two design trays, and a spray bottle, so kids can bring imaginative designs to life with just a few sprays. This pack also comes with six design templates, an instruction booklet and four pods for the interchangeable Pod Pen to help kids organize their beads by color. Two connectors and a display stand allow kids to show off their designs.
- BEADOS™ QUICK DRY STATION (Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Ages 4 years & up) The Beados™ Quick Dry Station is the all-in-one kit for creating plenty of Beados fun! The included 500 beads, two display trays, six design templates, spray bottle and quick dry fan give kids everything they need to create cute designs and dry them in half the time. Bead Pod storage makes organizing beads by color easy and clean up a breeze, while the included suction cups, display stand and connector give kids a way to play with and display their creations.
Disclosure: We received Beados products in exchange for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.