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Mardi Gras beads repair broken board games

Mardi Gras beads can be used as marbles on board games.
Mardi Gras beads can be used as marbles on board games.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After school care programs use board games to teach fair play, team work, decision making skills and following the rules. Many of these games use marbles for pawns; Chinese checkers, Mancala, and the like. The marbles have a way of getting lost in this type of environment. If the game doesn’t have the right number of marbles, the children can’t play the game.

Instead of throwing the game away, program directors can use Mardi Gras beads as a cheap replacement. Find beads that are the right size for the game. Cut the beads apart with a fingernail clipper. The clipper is curved, and will allow the string to be clipped close to the bead.

If the beads are not the right color, they can be altered using

  • Permanent markers
  • Plastic model paint
  • Fingernail polish
  • Spray paint

Cut the strand into a straight line, and hang it from a clothes line or a coat hanger, or some solution that will allow the beads to dry without touching anything. Apply the paint to all sides of the beads, and let dry. Then cut the beads into individual units. While you’re at it, make a few extra marbles of each color. It’s only a matter of time before they will be needed to replace the ones you just made.

For more after school care ideas, see my Pinterest boards at or follow me on Google Plus at

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