What you'll need:
Plastic Beads (For Younger Children: Large Wooden Lacing Beads)
Pipe Cleaners (Alternative: Satin Craft Cord, or thick string)
Note: Supplies can be found at your local craft store or Dollar Tree.
Bead Stringing is an activity from Practical Life which helps a child develop concentration, fine motor control, and the confidence that will beneift them throughout the Montessori classroom. Children can start this activity at a young age using oversized beads, such as the Melissa & Doug Primary Lacing Beads. As children gain better fine motor skills, and are at an age when smaller beads are appropriate, this DIY Montessori activity is a great one to try at home.
Because Valentine's day is this week, we have chosen heart beads... but any color and shape will do.
Simply set up your tray or activity area with a bowl of beads and pipe cleaners (whole or halved). Next guide your child through one of the following activities.
- Sort colors; threading beads onto the pipe cleaner so that all beads are the same color
- Thread by number; threading the correct number of beads onto a series of pipe cleaners (pictured, right)
- Create various patterns with the beads and explaining each to you
Counting, color recognition, and patterns can all be discussed and built upon throughout each exercise.
If you have some thick satin cord or string, your child may also enjoy extending their patterns to create a necklace for themselves, a friend, or teacher.
What it teaches:
Fine Motor Skills: Grasping & In-hand Manipulation Skills
Visual Perceptual Skills: Visual Discrimination, Scanning, Visual Memory
Cognitive Skills: Planning & Problem Solving
Early Math Skills