The Mardi Gras Bead Curtain is perfect to encourage more visual attending behavior for the student who visually function in Phase I or to encourage greater use of function with vision for the student who visually functions in Phase II (interaction with the beaded curtain with either hands, feet or other body movements).
The materials to make the Mardi Gras Bead Curtain:
- About 32 Mardi Gras bead necklaces, cut in half (so you have 64 lengths). Party City is a good place to buy them in packets of 8 (or from Amazon). Remember to purchase the child’s preferred color.
- 1 Sherwin Williams paint mixing stick (or from Home Depot or Lowes, etc.)
- 1 can flat black spray paint
- Glue sticks and hot glue gun
- Black Velcro (the length of the paint mixing stick). You can use either Sticky Back (easier) or non-Sticky Back.
Use the flat black spray paint to cover your mixing stick on all sides.
Using your glue gun, apply hot glue (about a 2 inch strip at a time) to the black mixing stick and press your beads into place. Continue until the entire black mixing stick has beads closely placed all the way across the stick. Apply an extra layer of hot glue along the top of all beads once they are all in place.
Apply hot glue to the back of the looped portion of the Velcro strip and glue it onto the black mixing stick. Note, if you are using Velcro with a Sticky Back, adhesive already applied, simply cut a piece the length of the mixing stick and stick the looped side on to the stick.
Apply hot glue to the back of the opposite side of the Velcro length and stick it to the top of the Mini Light Box. Note, if you are using Velcro with a Sticky Back, with the adhesive already applied, simply stick the opposite length to the top of the Mini Light Box.
Wait for everything to dry well, then attach your Mardi Gras Bead Curtain to the Mini Light Box, and turn on the light. I have used this successfully with students in my CVI Den when they are just beginning to use their vision and with students who are visually functioning in Phase II, who use their vision for functional and play purposes. One student, who had difficulty using his hands and arms to interact with the beads, loved to use his feet to kick at the beads and make them move. When the environmental light is lowered, the beads really stand out and shine. The Mardi Gras Bead Curtain has also been used successfully in a Noisy Box or Little Room, although the purpose for use in this type of a device would be different.