This was a great activity to keep little hands busy! My two-year-old loves to count and is constantly counting everything in sight. We are working on matching numbers and objects so this was the perfect activity for him. It also worked on those fine motor skills and kept his older siblings busy at the same time. I love an activity that everyone can enjoy!

Ages:
2 - 6
Est. Time:
<30 mins

# Materials List

1. pipe cleaners
3. masking tape - or painter's tape
4. markers
5. whiteboard and marker (optional)
1. Gather all your materials. We used a bag of multicolored beads from a craft kit and the kids loved that they came in all different shapes and sizes. The large beads were great for the younger kids!

2. We counted out ten pipe cleaners and wrapped a small piece of tape on one end of each pipe cleaner to create a flag. This helped to keep the kids from pulling their beads all the way off the pipe cleaner.

3. Then, we wrote a number from 1-10 on the masking tape. We chose to use smaller numbers since I was focusing on counting with my two- and three-year-olds.

4. The kids each got a few pipe cleaners and had fun stringing the correct number of beads on each pipe cleaner. They got lots of fine motor practice and counting practice. My two-year-old is very into counting right now so this was the perfect activity for him! (Be sure you watch young kids with the beads, though. Only you know whether your child is ready to work with small beads yet.)

5. Once all the beads were strung we put them in order from smallest to largest. The kids got confused because, since we used different-sized beads, the longest strands didn't always have the most beads. This was a great chance for us to work on reasoning skills and recount some of our strands. My 4-year-old especially benefited from this.

6. We also pulled out a white board and marker and used our bead strings to do some simple addition problems. After our math lesson, the kids had a great time stringing and emptying their pipe cleaners. They made patterns and rainbows while I finished making dinner!