Homemade rainbow sun catchers – capturing imagination with fine motor skills activities

Little Bu and I made these ‘fairy rainbow sun catchers’ a couple of weeks ago, and what a beautiful little activity it was. It was simple, easy to set up, it used up bits and bobs we happened to have lying around, and it left us with beautiful, magical decorations in our garden. Little Bu runs up to them each day to look for any signs of fairies who may have visited.

We used large clear plastic crystals that we happened to have lying around from Christmas. Glass would be so much nicer if you can get them, but plastic still definitely works. These are the part that will sparkle and catch the light (and your child’s imagination), so they’re pretty important.

I tied these to the bottom of a length of plastic thread, with several knots to make sure it was secure.

Then I brought out our beads tray, and let Little Bu get busy. She was so focused, she concentrated so hard on each bead – colour and size choice, then carefully threading. It’s a great fine motor skills activity; grasping each of the beads, holding the thread and aiming it carefully to fit through the hole, pulling it out the other side. It also gives them a wonderful opportunity to express themselves by choosing the combination of beads that they like.

Several times she dropped the thread, with beads spilling onto the floor. So the activity lasted much longer than expected, and her focus increased each time. Even better!

Once the catchers were done, we tied several knots to secure the beads, then tied a loop big enough to go over a branch.

Finally, and most excitingly, we went outside and chose branches to hang them on where we thought the most fairies would be attracted.

They’ve been hanging up there for a little over a week and each time a bird flies past or the wind moves it, Little Bu takes a quick look, checking for fairies. We’ve since made 3 more and have them dotted all over the garden because Little Bu loves the process and end result so much. What a beautiful way to encourage imagination, right in your own back garden!


Plastic thread

Beads (wooden add something special but plastic would also work)

Large crystal (or several small ones)


Thread your large crystal onto the end of a length of thread, and tie a couple of knots to secure it.

Let your little ones choose the beads they use, and allow them to thread (or help if needed).

Once they’re done, tie a few knots above the top bead to ensure they don’t fall off. Make sure you leave enough space for a loop at the end. Tie the loop so that it’s big enough to fit onto the branch you’re planning to hang it on.

Take your little ones outside to hang them up!

Bonus idea:

Last weekend  I sprinkled some glitter and tiny silver stars onto the floor below one of them, and Little Bu was utterly speechless (a rare event!) when she realised it was fairy dust and fairy footprints.

(n.b. Please supervise the bead usage carefully, especially if your little one still enjoys putting things in their mouths).

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