1st grade Ceramic Bead Necklaces

One little 1st grade class got to make these super cool necklaces during the last week of school this year!! 
These ceramic beads are pretty chunky - about an inch or so in diameter. 
We actually made them last year (when the kids were in Kindergarten) and never got around to using them. 
I kept them thinking that one day I would know what to do!! I couldn't imagine trying to glaze them as I thought it would be too cumbersome. 
Then I remembered this technique I had seen out there where oil pastels are used on bisque-ware before being soaked in a bath of watery black tempera paint! Wah-lah!! I had my idea!
Plastic drinking straws were cut up and used as long spacers along with colorful pony beads to make the necklace designs
 **did you know?** 
Pony beads got their name because that particular size and shape of bead was historically used to decorate the harnesses of warrior's ponies when they went into battle. Although they are made of plastic now, then they were made of glass, wood or bone.
After the kids colored their beads with oil pastels, I kept them in an egg container with name tags. I dipped them into the paint after class was over and allowed them to dry this way. Worked great!! Before we made our necklaces, I threaded large embroidery needles onto cotton string and placed a piece of tape on the other end, which served two purposes:  to write names and keep the beads on the string.