UV Pony Bead Bracelet
Updated: Apr 10
Note: Some of this content originally appeared on a website I developed and managed in 2015. Photos and content are original and will be updated in the forthcoming months.
*Have older children? Extensions are detailed at the bottom of this post!*
This was a museum summer camp crowd-pleaser, and I even set this up as an activity station at my son's 3rd birthday party (with mixed age groups). Children of all ages get excited when they walk into the sun for the first time and watch the beads transform colors right before their eyes. There isn't a way of knowing what color the bead will turn, so it's fun to watch participants running back and forth into the sun trying to get the right color bead for their bracelet.
White pipe cleaners work best (but string will also work)
UV Beads (I ordered mine from Amazon)
Here is what the beads look like before sun exposure:
And, here is what the beads look like in the sun:
I do love a good fine-motor skill activity!
Bead bracelet in the house:
Bead bracelet in the sun:
Extensions: If you have older children, make a few bracelets, and coat each bracelet with a different SPF of sunscreen and leave them in the sun for a few hours as a test of the efficacy of sunscreen SPF. Be sure you leave one bracelet "naked" so you have a control bracelet!
If you have a Harry Potter fan in your house, you can make a bead bracelet indoors and then put a spell on the beads with a wand (use a toy wand, chopstick, or pretzel rod) and then see how successful the spell was by going outside to see if the beads magically change color!
For a spell, I suggest using an animal's scientific name because 1. I can remember that and 2. it just sounds really magical. Here are some I like, Amblema plicata, Tritogonia verrucosa, and Megalonais nervosa (all names of freshwater mussels I studied in graduate school. LOL).
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