DIY Chewable Sensory Necklaces for Kids
Does your child chew nails or clothing? Does he or she have a need to fidget or manage sensory overload? Chewable jewelry might help!
What is Chewable Jewelry?
Chewable jewelry, sometimes known as chewelry, is a combination of the words chewable and jewelry. There are chewable bracelets and chewable necklaces that, yes, kids can put in their mouths!
Chewable necklaces are like teething necklaces made for babies, but the name suits older kids.
Instead of the mom wearing the teething necklace, a child who is around 4 years old or older wears the necklace.
Even teens (or adults!) who might need to fulfill sensory needs would benefit from a chewable necklace!
But why would an older child need chewable jewelry?
Benefits of Chewable Jewelry
There are actually some awesome benefits kids get from chewable jewelry.
Chewable jewelry, according to ARK Therapeutic Services:
- Can help kids de-stress and calm down
- Can help kids focus and pay attention
- Can help fulfill sensory needs or help with sensory overload
- Can help kids avoid chewing their nails, clothing, pencil tops, etc
- and more!
Think about it: I’m sure at some point you have seen an older child stick something in their mouth and chew on it for one reason or another. Chewable jewelry gives a child something safe to chew on while fulfilling whatever need there is.
Chewable necklaces can also be used as a fidget necklace. By using a variety of shapes of beads and giving them some space to move, the necklaces can fulfill the need to move and provide the necessary stimulation a child needs to destress or concentrate.
Chewable jewelry gives a child something SAFE to chew on while fulfilling sensory needs. It can also be used as fidget jewelry!Click To Tweet
Chewable Beads for Necklaces
When my daughter and I make chewable necklaces kids, we use silicone chewable beads. There are also wood beads or crochet beads that you can use to make chewable necklaces, but we like working with silicone beads since they’re colorful and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They’re also very easy to care for, most only needed to be washed in warm soapy water.
Before you buy any silicone chewable beads, make sure that the beads are:
- food grade silicone,
- BPA free,
- phthalate free,
- lead free,
- and PVC free.
Most silicone bead sellers will include this information in the product’s description, so do some research before buying any beads.
To make chewable necklaces I ordered beads from Teslababy on Etsy. I also bought beads from Blue Rabbit Co. on Amazon that are excellent quality.
Remind your child that loose beads can be a choking hazard. They shouldn’t test out the beads until they are secured on a necklace.
Cord for Chewable Necklace
The type of cord you choose for to make chewable necklaces is important too. You want something strong enough for a necklace that’s going to go through the wringer that won’t also fray. I use satin nylon cord made for crafting and jewelry making when I make chewable jewelry.
How to Make Chewable Sensory Necklaces for Kids
You can make chewable necklaces yourself, but this is also a great activity to helps kids practice their fine motor skills. Let them help or even make their own chewable necklaces!
Gather these items before making chewable necklaces:
- nylon cord
- silicone beads
- breakaway clasps
- (optional) lighter or match, or clear nail polish
Watch us make the chewable necklaces, or follow the step-by-step instructions below.
Step 1: Measure the cord and cut it.
When I make a baby teething necklace, I cut about 36 inches of cord, but that is a tad too long for a child’s chewable necklace.
My daughter prefers her to be long, so I cut 30 of cord for her.
Step 2: Decide on a fun style or pattern.
With your child, design a style or pattern of the necklace.
Will it just have a single pendant? If so, will you add extra knots to hold the pendant in place?
Making a pattern with a bunch of beads is often the most fun for kids, especially if they’re making the necklaces themselves.
Have the kids organize the beads in any kind of pattern they like. You can start in the middle with a large pendant and go from there.
I try not to add too many beads. Depending on the size of the beads, you could add from about 20-40. Keep in mind that silicone beads near the hairline tend to pull hair, plus the necklace will feel heavy once it’s filled with beads.I'm learning how to make a chewable necklace for kids! Did you know they have so many benefits? #kids #parenting #DIY Click To Tweet
Step 3: Prepare the cord for beading.
This step can be optional, but I find that it makes things so much easier for me.
To get the beads and clasp on smoothly, I prepare the end of the cord. Using a lighter or even a match, I heat up the very end of the cord so that it doesn’t fray when I try to add the beads or the clasp.
Careful not to set the cord on fire! It’s a very quick thing. You can see in my video above how quick it is.
An alternative to using a lighter on the end of the cord is cutting the end of it at an angle and then adding a very thin layer of clear nail polish. I would use clear polish from Piggy Paint as it is safe for use by kids.
Step 4: Tie on half of the clasp.
I do this before I add the beads. It’s hard to work when the beads are slipping off!
(Note: If you are adding a pendant in the middle and prefer to work from both sides, you can skip this step.)
Tie a knot at the very end of the cord. Slip on the clasp with the widest side toward the knot.
Pull the clasp is over the knot and tie a second knot behind it to keep it in place.
Step 5: Add the silicone beads.
Now for the fun! Add the beads in the pattern your child chose.
If the cord gives you a hard time going through the beads, spin it a little as it’s going through.
You can add knots at the end of your pattern to keep the beads in place. These knots also serve to keep the beads on the necklace should your clasp fail for some reason.
You can also add knots in between the beads for added style. Just remember that adding more knots can shorten the necklace.
Step 6: Add the other half of the clasp.
Add the other half of the clasp and tie a knot.
And just like that, your child has their own chewable necklace!
Remember to supervise young children with this jewelry. While the breakaway clasp aids in keeping the kids from being choked, accidents can still happen.
Also, check the jewelry often to make sure that the beads can’t come loose. If the cord frays too much, you could always remove the beads and create a whole new necklace.
How to Clean Chewable Necklaces
You can wash chewable necklaces made with silicone beads in warm soapy water. Make sure to rinse well.
Air dry the necklaces completely. Store in a dry space.
What Do You Think of the DIY Chew Necklace?
Are you going to make chewable necklaces with or for your kids? How will they benefit from them? Have a question? Leave a comment below!
Don’t have the time to make your own? Check these out!
Be sure to check out my guest post DIY Baby Teething Necklaces on the MommyCon Blog!