So here's the setup and then the furious beading activity, amazingly intent group, and their proudly displayed creations.
They made their own beads from a selection of three different papers, which I'd predrawn with guidelines to show them where to cut, one kraft paper, which makes beads that look like wood, went over big with the boys' contingent, one plain bright colored, their choice, one a sheet torn from a colorful magazine. Then we explored, after creating a dozen or so beads, how to arrange them to bead in a good design, then thread them and finish off necklace or bracelet with a firm knot.
Quite a lot of learning in this apparently simple activity.
Some of the participants seemed interested in continuing this new skill, and after I showed them a lot of beads I'd made and explained about finishing them with nail polish at home, they went off full of summer plans.
This workshop was the first of the summer program. I wanted to lead off the program for two reasons, one being, full disclosure, that I wanted to get my part of it over with (!) and the other that this is a nice summer activity for all ages, that you can do in a bit of down time at the beach or the park or at home on rainy days.
Great props to Donna S. for the background work and support that made it all look easy on the day, and to the Plainsboro Public Library for presenting all kinds of interesting events open free to the community.