I have written before about how much my older son enjoys creating with fuse beads. Last year, we made fuse beads Christmas ornaments together, and in summer we made some fuse beads rainbow badges for Pride. But my younger boy never gets to join in, because the regular beads are recommended for ages 5+ and whilst I know he won’t put them in his mouth, he just doesn’t have the motor skills yet to place the tiny beads on the board. So when I discovered that Hama Beads now come in a Maxi version, aimed at ages 3+, I was delighted when we were invited to test them out!
Disclosure: We were sent a free set of Hama Beads Maxi by Norton PR, to review, but all images, words and opinion are our own.
What’s in the box? The Hama Beads Maxi come in various sets, and we were sent the food set to test, Included in the box was a round peg board, some ironing aper, a sheet with templates for different food, a set of instructions and, of course, the beads themselves, around 600 of them in various colours.
The Maxi beads are substantially bigger, at aprox. 1cm length/diameter, compared to the regular beads which are just 0.5cm. Here you can see both sizes in my hand:
Their chunkier size makes them much easier for little hands to handle, and my 3 year old – who struggles with regular beads – had no problem at all picking these up and placing them on the peg board. And because they are so chunky, they are also fairly easy to pick up if they fall on the floor.
He decided to go free hand first, and filled the entire board with colourful beads. I think it’s the longest I’ve ever seen him concentrate on one things. I then carefully ironed it for him, and once it had cooled down and I handed it back to him he proudly proclaimed “Look, Mama, I made a plate!”
Next, we tried out one of the templates. He wanted to make a watermelon, as he loves watermelons, and we discovered that the peg board fits exactly over the template pictures so he just had to put the right coloured beads on top of the picture. I think that is great, because if it were just a picture to look at and follow, I think he would still be too young to translate that in to how many beads to put where on the board. But this way he managed to do it almost all by himself, with minimal help from me (I just had to push the board back in to place a couple of times when it slipped). We made a couple of watermelons, which I then each ironed, and since they are nice and chunky they are actually perfect to add to our play kitchen!
The only downside of the bigger beads, is that you get fewer beads for your money (you can get a packet of 500 maxi beads for around the same price as a tub of 4000 regular beads), meaning that you’ll use them up much more quickly. But I have discovered that my little one doesn’t actually want to iron them all. He is quite happy using the beads to peg out patterns and pictures, then tipping them back in the box. So that’s one way to make them last longer.
All in all, I think this is a great product for creative kids, and especially for younger siblings since it means my 3 year old can now join in when his big brother does his beading, instead of having to look on. The Hama Maxi Beads food set it suitable for ages 3+ and is available at all good toy shops and on Amazon (Affiliate link), alongside various other sets and refill bags with just beads.
Note: Products marked as Amazon Affiliate links mean, that if you buy these products via the links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps to keep this blog running. Thank you.