I recently had a small article published about working with my senior beading students.
I'm including the text and the link below. These hints also work well for children.
"I have been in the jewelry design business for 6 years, and about 8 months ago I was blessed with the opportunity to start teaching jewelry design classes.
The majority of my classes are held in senior centers and nursing homes. Because of the various physical limitations of my senior students, I have learned to alter my teaching techniques to adjust to their needs.
Due to vision difficulties, we use large holed beads and simple elastic string found in the sewing/craft department.
Many of my students suffer from severe arthritis, so it is hard to grip the string for long periods of time. It is crushing to them to drop their beads, especially when they have spent so much time working on them.
I started tying a keyring (large silver split ring) on the end of the string. The keyring slips on their finger like a regular ring, giving them greater control over their string, and making it harder to drop. Any large sized ring, like drapery rings, will work.
It has drastically reduced the amount of "drops" we have in class.
When they are finished stringing their beads, we tie it in a traditional square knot and cut the keyring off.
Just making these few adjustments has led to much happier students and larger class sizes."
You can read the article by going to: