Amy’s Free Ideas

Bead Game

  1. 1.Lay a clear plastic Pringle’s can lid (potato chips) on a piece of paper and draw a circle around the lid. If they don’t sell Pringle’s potato chips in your neighborhood, then try to find another product that comes with a clear lid--if you can’t see through it, you can’t watch the beads roll around!!

  2. 2.Cut out the circle of paper slightly smaller than the outline so it will  fit inside the lid.

  3. 3.Draw a scene on the circle--for a Bible story, or use your imagination.

  4. 4.Cut strips from a toilet paper tube to make ledges to catch the beads. The important point is to make sure they are as tall as 2 lids stacked on top of each other. If you don’t, the balls will be able to roll right past the ledges.

  5. 5.Glue these cut pieces of toilet paper tube onto various places on the background scene.

  6. 6. Put three or more beads into the game.

  7. 7.Stack a second lid on top of the base lid, and tape the sides together all the way around.

  8. 8.Tip the game back and forth to see if you can make the beads go into the right place.

NOTE: If you want to collect fewer caps, use thin cardboard as the base rather than a second cap--so only have to collect one per child. It may be easier to glue this backing onto the the cap. Whether you glue or tape the backing on, bake sure there are no gaps for the beads to escape.

NOTE: You can save some class time if you make the background scene rather than letting the kids draw their own. Draw the background scene, then photocopy one for each child, and let the kids color it in. If you want to save even more class time, color in the original and make color copies for the kids so all the kids do is assemble the game.

Bead mazes can be SO infuriating because you can never get all the little beads to go where you want them to go, and even if you get one to go where it is supposed to go, when you try to get the others to go there too, the first one rolls out! Anyway, here is a simple way to make your own infuriating game! The game in the photo has a Christmas theme--the wisemen looking for the baby Jesus, so the beads start in the east (the bottom) and travel to bethlehem where the star hangs over the manger at the top. Make background scenes to fit any Bible stories that you are teaching, that involve travel, or let the boys make up their own designs. The ledges that help the beads along the way are small pieces cut from toilet paper tubes. The bead game shown in the photo is fairly simple with only 4 ledges, but you can make it more complicated with more ledges, or make straight mazes with strips of thin cardboard.