Hama Beads are the latest trend in the world of crafts and everything indicates that they are here to stay. However, they are actually much more than just drawing beads as they also have numerous benefits from a physical and cognitive point of view. We explain what exactly Hama Beads are, what their benefits are and how children can use them at home.
What are Hama Beads?
Hama Beads are a type of bead made of plastic, small hollow pieces in the center similar to a tube that are used to make different crafts. In general, Hama Beads are not used alone but are worked on a template with pegs that acts as a base or pattern. The idea is to place the beads on the template, combining different colors and shapes to create different designs.
There are Hama Beads in different colors and sizes. The most popular are the Hama Beads Mini, the smallest beads of all since they measure about 2.5 mm. These beads are designed for children who have good fine motor skills, approximately from the age of 10, since although they allow more sophisticated figures to be made with a greater level of detail, they require much more skills at work.
There are also the Hama Beads Midi that measure about 5 mm, so they require less development of fine motor skills and can be used from the age of 5. Unlike the Mini, in this case designs with a high level of detail are not achieved, but instead they are easier to manipulate and combine with each other. Finally, there are the Hama Beads Maxi that measure about 10 mm and are ideal for younger children who do not yet have a good development of fine motor skills.
The origins of Hama Beads
It’s only been a few years since Hama Beads have become popular, but they were actually created almost half a century ago. The idea came from Malte Haaning, a businessman familiar with plastic products who, following a growing demand for beads, decided to start manufacturing them in 1971. The first to hit the market were Midi accounts and 7 years later, in 1978, they included Mini. In 1982 they began to manufacture the Maxi, in an attempt to reach as many children as possible.
However, it wasn’t until the late 1970s that Haaning developed the ironing method, in which the beads were attached to a plastic tray or piece of cardboard. In 1984 the Hama brand was registered as a trademark and since then they have accompanied many children and their families during their creative and leisure time.
The benefits of this resource for child development
Hama Beads have become popular as a simple toy for children, but in reality they can also become an excellent teaching resource to stimulate child development. Its use during the first years of life, helps children learn to recognize colors and distinguish some shapes from others. In addition, they are perfect to boost the creativity of the little ones, encouraging them to copy their favorite figures or create their own designs.
They are also a perfect didactic resource to improve mathematical skills and stimulate the recognition of geometric figures, while helping to develop fine motor skills, especially the movement of the clamp. It is also an ideal exercise to sharpen children’s concentration and get them to focus on a single task for a long period of time, while helping to promote emotional and behavioral self-regulation.
How to make crafts with Hama Beads?
Crafting with Hama Beads is actually very easy and fun. All you need is a template to place the different colored beads and Hama Beads to create the designs you want. Once you have chosen the figure you want to make, just place each bead in its place for the design to take shape. In the case of the Mini, it is necessary to use a clamp to facilitate the work.
One of the great advantages of crafts with Hama Beads is that once the design is finished, it is possible to keep it either to use at home, as a souvenir or to make a personalized gift. For this there are two options: iron or sew the figure. To sew it, you will need a needle and thread and a dose of practice since each of the beads must be sewn together so that they do not separate when lifting the design from the template.
To iron the design you will need a paper that withstands a lot of heat such as vegetable paper, place it on top of the design and, with the iron at a high temperature, pass it firmly on the paper for about 10 seconds. It is ready when the colors of the design begin to intensify through the paper and then you can pull out of the template. To ensure optimal results, you can place an object weighing like a book on the paper for a few hours.
Where to buy Hama Beads
In Children’s Stage we bring you a selection of the best sellers of Hama Beads (beads, figures, templates, etc.) on Amazon, they have many benefits for your children!