H just had her third birthday, and between two of us we got her a decent Hama Beads set – a large tub of beads (the Maxi ones) and a starter set which The Entertainer had at half price (£9!).
Hama Beads are a simple concept. You’ve a clear base you put the beads on to create pictures – and once you’ve finished and it’s done, simply get a hot iron to it and press down (using a sheet of paper provided) for a few seconds – and wait for it to cool.
Once cooled, you can check it has set properly and peel it away – leaving a colourful beaded pattern in whichever shape you chose!
Packs come with some stands too – so if you wanted you could have your creation stand up. We had a rainy, stormy Saturday so got the kits out – and found that rather than supervising H, we were all hooked and making our own creations (especially Shaun).
The best bit of all? It was something we could all sit down and do together – and we enjoyed ourselves. The maxi beads are suitable for children aged 3 years and up, the midi beads from 5 years (they’re a bit smaller) and then regular Hama Beads are suitable from age 7. I spotted Ikea do similar kits as well, though in the smallest size (and I’ve no idea what kind of quality they are, or indeed if they’ll mix with Hama Beads)
There’s some excellent patterns for free over here