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Posts Tagged ‘bead materials’

Well I finally took the plunge and decided to make bead material.  For those  of you who aren’t familiar with Montessori, these beads are important to the math curriculum. I found these great wooden beads at Fire Mountain Gems and beads, thanks to Stephanie of ImagineOurLife for the tip. I bought the 6 mm wooden waxed beads and have been threading them onto the gold plated brass eye pins that they sell by the 100 pack. I got one package of each of the short bead stair colours, black, white, light grey, dark grey, and a lot of gold. I bought three packages of eye pins (21 gauge) but I will need to buy another pack to finish the 1000 golden bead cube. They give you two 16 inch strands per package, which works out to about 130 beads. The whole thing, including shipping, cost me about $103. I have enough to make at least: seven complete sets of the short bead stair image the short chains for each colour (my son wants photo and bead arranging credit for this one.) image bead squares for all colours up to and including 6 image three black and white bead stairs image three negative grey bead stairs

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all the golden decimal material

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(45 ten bead bars, 9 single beads, 9 one hundred bead squares, and 1 thousand bead cube) and a bunch of random extra beads of various colours. So not everything that exists in Montessori bead world but a pretty decent start.

I like that they are wooden, and the paint is non toxic. They are waxed, and so they are shiny once you start handling them. They are not all exactly the same size, but I like the slight variation. If you are adamant that the square be a real square, though, these are not the beads for you.

The eye pins made my life much easier. They are stiff enough to hold the bars straight. I used the 3 inch ones and saved the pieces I cut off to make the shorter bars and to make jump rings for the chains. I also used them to stabilize the squares and the cubes. I know that a lot of people have had good success using plastic grids for that, but I don’t love how they look. I will do another tutorial post of how to make the 100 squares without the grids.

We aren’t completely done yet, but my seven year old has been really helpful with making the eye loops with jewelry pliers on the bead bars once they are done, and the little ones have been having a good time counting the beads onto the eye pins for me. I was sort of dreading this project but it is actually going quite quickly.

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