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A friend of mine has recently moved house and she has given my daughter all her sons old Hama beads as if we really needed any more! Son of the bags weren't even open and this was one of them which apparently is because my friends son insisted the beads all have to be sorted into colours so as she couldn't be bothered to sit and sort them they were still in the pack.
You can buy these from many toy shops and online, on Amazon at the moment a bag of 500 of solid mix colour is selling for £7.27 with free delivery. The beads come packaged in a see through strong plastic bag, good job it is strong as I wouldn't want to have to pick all these up if it spilled. The bag has a cardboard topper on it where the pack could be hung up in a shop but once the cardboard topper is removed the bag is open with no way to reseal it. It shows some little pictures on the topper as well as the information that the beads are for ages 3 plus.
The bag is easy to open but watch out when you do as I ended up catapulting some of the beads across the room. Inside the bag you get 500 beads which are little hollow cylinders made of plastic, you get a range of colours which are black, white, yellow, purple, red, blue and green. The beads are about 0.5cms in height and about 0.3cms in width so they are suitable for younger children to handle, my 2 year old can now manage to position the beads on the boards.
To make your picture your children use the beads and slot them over prongs on a Hama board to make a design, they are easy to use and there is loads of scope for creativity which is great for Sophie as she is very artistic. Once the beads are in position an adult needs to iron the design together and the Hama beads fuse together and the design once cool holds in one piece.
Sophie loves her Hama beads and both her and her younger sister will sit for ages making patterns and pictures, I would recommend these to anyone who has creative children but please be aware that you also need at least one of the Hama boards to make any designs.