Candy Cane Craft for Preschoolers

Last week, I posted Ornaments to Make With a Preschooler. That post was a huge hit; many of you emailed, Tweeted, and commented that you were going to make some ornaments with your kids.

I’m so glad to hear that!

Over the weekend, Joe and Grace set up our small Christmas tree in her bedroom. At first, it was just a plain old tree, wrapped in a single string of white lights.

Then the ornament-making began.

I supplied the materials; Joe and Grace have done the crafting.

Their first project was a oldie, tri-bead candy canes.

Beaded Candy Canes


  • Pipe cleaners – we picked metallic green, metallic red, silver, and gold
  • Tri beds in clear and red
  • Small jingle bells

    preschool craft materials


  1. An adult can begin this project by wrapping the end of the pipe cleaner around the first plastic bead.
    For a preschooler, it works better if you wrap the end of the pipe cleaner around a small jingle bell. Grace could see clearly where her beads needed to stop.
  2. Alternating red and clear beads, cover about 2/3 of the pipe cleaner with tri-beads.
    preschool craft candy canes
  3. To finish, either wrap the end around the last bead or around another jingle bell.
  4. Cut off any excess pipe cleaner.
    preschool craft candy canes
  5. Hang on your Christmas tree.

A note about crafting with a preschooler

Grace didn’t really understand the concept of alternating between red and clear. Joe wanted to take her beads off and start over on her behalf, but I wouldn’t allow him to. Grace’s candy cane isn’t perfect, but it looks good to her.

And that’s good enough for me.

I’m going to figure out a way to mark Grace’s candy cane with 2010 so that we remember when she made it.

Beaded Wreaths

Joe made some wreath ornaments in the same manner. He used a metallic green pipe cleaner and mostly clear beads for these –

beaded wreath craft
He also made some with mostly red beads on a silver pipe cleaner. Grace was long done at this point, but she happily hung them on her tree anyway.

beaded wreath ornaments beaded wreath ornaments

What else could you make with these little tri-beads?

© 2010 – 2012, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.



  1. […] Beaded Candy Cane Craft – I used regular round craft beads and no bells (just wrap the pipe cleaners around the end beads.  So simple, so fun, and a great way to incorporate fine motor skills and patterning.  Some of the kiddos alternated red-white-red-white, others went with something more complicated like red-red-white or red-red-white-white.  It’s fun to see what they come up with!  You can simplify even more and just make candy canes by twisting or braiding pipe cleaners together and bending them into shape. […]

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