Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Children's Art Materials: Pop Beads are Not Trash

Sometimes you go to the Goodwill Outlet Store and you dig through nothing but trash. Sometimes, however, you go to the Goodwill Outlet Store and, well, yeah, there's still a lot of trash, but also a lot of awesomeness! On one single trip to the Goodwill Outlet Store on New Year's Day, we scored now-treasured possessions such as a huge sock monkeys jersey cotton flat sheet (part of which is now a sock monkeys baby bag, and the rest of which is destined to be sock monkeys pajamas), two Magic School Bus books (you probably have to be between the ages of 3 and 7 to appreciate the Magic School Bus, but wow! It's a big deal), a brand-new My Little Pony still in its box, two bags of Battleship pegs, a tin of antique sewing machine attachments, a huge binder of quilt block templates and instructions, and these funky little things:
I have since learned that they are called Pop Beads. You might think that I would be sturdily against some gendered jewelry-making toy, made of plastic, no less, but I have no quibble here. These things are AWESOME.

Sure, you can make jewelry, with the ring and bracelet findings that come with the set (well, our "set" was contained in an unmarked cardboard box, but I'm assuming that the contents of the box consisted of one set)--

--but this is a really cool and really versatile building toy aside from the jewelry-making components. Sydney prefers imaginative play to jewelry, and so she made all the pop beads that she got her hands on into little people, usually with funny hats. They happily join in to play with the small ponies and plastic dinosaurs.

The only negative aspect of the toy is that the bracelet base isn't sized for an adult man. But Matt gamely sported his beautiful pop bead bracelet, made for him with love, for much of last Sunday, only quoting what one horrible train-wreck mother taught her preschool daughter to say as she was getting spray-tanned and her eyebrows plucked and having false eyelashes applied and fake front teeth inserted on this one episode of Toddlers and Tiaras that we watched--"It hurts to be beautiful."


Jim Borthwick said...

An original My Little Pony? Have you ever found any Shirt Tales stuffed toys?

cake said...

huge fans of magic school bus over here. cosmo is currently on a big magic school bus kick...again!

and, when i saw that first photo of the pop beads, i had some kind of flashback of playing with them as a kid, and loving them.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE pop beads!! We had them way back in the olden days when I was a kid. Of course, they were just plain round beads back then, but my sisters and I would play with them for hours.

Oh, and you've been tagged for Seven Red Things. Take seven photos of red things in your home (with that amazing select focus lens!) post them and tag seven others to do the same. Su from Wardrobe Refashion tagged me!

kirsten said...

we have those pop beads, too. my kids make all kinds of crazy stuff with them (including borg costumes for their stuffed animals).

excellent find.