I picked up a loaf of some beautiful pumpernickel rye swirl bread last week thinking I might figure out a zebra tangram. It wasn’t working so well, so I switched to snakes after I saw BeanOne and BeanTwo playing with this great bead-lacing set that I found years ago at Goodwill.
Making bead snakes provides so many opportunities for play and discovery. There are design decisions to be made: selecting beads of different colors and shapes, making patterns, and deciding how and when to end the pattern. At some point, be sure to make hissing “sssss” sounds and lay the snake in an S shape on the floor.
Tying knots and lacing the beads onto the string are simple fine motor skills to practice. And when the snake is complete, it’s ready for pretend play: Pet Snake, Jungle Danger, or (my favorite) Outback Snake Hunt culminating with snake soup in the play kitchen.
I’ve looked around online for snake bead lacing sets similar to ours and only found this one, called Easy Make Snake. It has a cute head piece, and a wooden “needle.” But the beads included don’t allow for much pattern work.
It seems it wouldn’t be too difficult to make your own set, if you can find some nice chunky beads and a larger oval one for the head. Draw or paint on some eyes and upcycle some old shoelaces. Voila!
Speaking of things easy to make, the sandwich is a simple stack of cheddar cheese and thinly-sliced cucumbers on the swirl bread with a little mayo.