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Crafts And Conversation: Beaded Snail With The DUCK Lab

Get crafty with the DUCK Lab! Each Friday, trained research assistants from the UNCG Psychology Department’s DUCK Lab will guide at-home crafts for children ages 3 to 12. Parents can join too to learn fun facts about crafts that foster age-appropriate skills or learn about the DUCK Lab’s nonprofit child development research projects. 

This Friday, the DUCK Lab invites all elementary-age friends to join Kelsey and make a beaded snail! Follow along as Kelsey takes you through each step and see how you use a pipe cleaner and beads to make a snail shell!

Parents, did you know?

This craft offers an opportunity for children to practice planning ahead and keeping goals in mind during long tasks. Read on below for more info. about the connection between these types of activities and age-appropriate developmental milestones.

We also invite you to check out our child development research opportunities, which are now modified for the virtual world! Please click here to learn more or sign up to participate with us.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:


  • Popsicle stick

  • Pipe cleaners

  • Large beads

  • Googly eyes

  • Glue (dots, stick, or liquid)


  1. Bend your pipe cleaner in half to create a “v” shape for the antennas. Glue the antennas to one end of the popsicle stick.

  2. Next, thread about 15 beads through another pipe cleaner to make your snail’s shell. Make sure to pinch one side of the pipe cleaner so that the beads do not fall off.

  3. Starting on the end of the pipe cleaner that is pinched, bend the pipe cleaner into itself until you start to create a spiral shape. Make sure to leave a straight end at the end of the pipe cleaner.

  4. Glue the snail shell to your popsicle stick.

  5. Glue a googly eye to the popsicle stick, below the antenna and next to the shell.

The DUCK Lab: Beaded Snail

Relation to Developmental Science:

Although threading beads through a pipe cleaner might seem like a long and tedious task, it allows older children to practice planning ahead by putting their creative ideas into practice. Rather than only thinking about an ideal pattern for their snail, children will have to actively remember that pattern and plan accordingly. This suits their growing abilities to remember and successfully complete projects with multiple components and long-term goals, rather than immediate, short-term tasks. For example, older children will need to choose specific colors for their beads and then remember the pattern that they want to produce while placing each bead on the pipe cleaner. This also allows children to practice attention to detail, which is critical for success in school and other realms of life, which contrasts with merely focusing on task completion and disregarding important details.

*Great for older kids!

The DUCK Lab is a partner in the nonprofit Child Development Research Center in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. They conduct studies of social and cognitive development with 2- to 12- year-olds. Families who participate in their research studies are volunteers in the Greensboro community who generously offer their time to help support research and training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

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