Hand-Made Christmas Ornaments – A Little Something for Everyone

I’ve been tickled this holiday season by the activities I pull together for my Littles that turn into fun for everyone.  I guess my Middles just can’t stand to be left out of anything.

Today I pulled out the pony beads for a candy cane ornament making session for Noah (6 with Down syndrome) and Bella (4).


Pretty cute for an elf, dontcha think?

Activity:  Candy Cane Christmas Tree Ornament


  1. Red and white pony beads
  2. Pipe Cleaner, cut in half


  1. Place one bead on the bottom end of the pipe cleaner and loop the pipe cleaner around the bead to secure.
  2. Place beads, alternating red and white, on pipe cleaner, pushing each bead down on top of the bead before it.
  3. When pipe cleaner is full, loop remaining pipe cleaner around top bead to secure and bend in a candy cane shape.
  4. Hang ornament on tree using the crook in the cane as a hanger.

I loved this activity because the end result we were going for had a purpose.  Noah and I both find typical fine motor beading tedious because there’s no real purpose to it.  This definitely had a purpose.  Depending where your child is developmentally, you may want to incorporate sorting and patterning practice into the activity – there’s no reason you couldn’t use three- or four color-patterns instead of two.

I prompted Noah for most of the activity to alternate between red and white because I was afraid I would lose his cooperation if I tried to turn it into a patterning lesson, but by the last few beads, he was alternating colors on his own.

Now, in our little world, that’s HUGE!!!!

Halfway through Noah and Bella’s project, the Middles joined in, and tonight I am happy to report we have an assortment of very colorful candy cane ornaments hanging on our tree.

Ya know, it’s the simple stuff that turns out to be the most fun.


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