Recognition and Counting Numbers with a Hands On Activity. Using beads and pipe cleaners in a hands on math activity. Perfect for a center or small group activity. Children should be monitored if they are young due to the size of pony beads. Preschool and Kindergarten.
Cardstock or Construction paper
Free Printable # 1-25 Sheet
Scissors or Paper Cutter (adult only)
Pipe Cleaners (chenille stems
Packing Tape or Craft Glue (recommended)
Container for beads and tray to work on
- Print Teaching Tiny Tots's # 1-25 Sheet
- Cut Pipe cleaners in half for #1-10. A full sized pipecleaner can string about 25 regular pony beads.
- Glue or tape your piece of cut cardstock or construction paper to the top of the pipecleaner. Stapling does not work well. See our tip for longer lasting pieces.
- Have beads available to string.
- Have trays to work on so the beads don't roll
- String the beads onto the pipecleaner.
Tips and Suggestions
- Laminate cardstock or construction paper prior to cutting for a longer lasting center game. You can use contact paper if you are doing this at home.
- Stapling does not hold the cardstock well on the pipecleaner. We used packing tape but I believe craft glue would also work well if allowed to dry completely.
- For younger toddlers, you can direct them to use only red beads or blue to help reinforce color.
- For older children you can tell them to make patterns with the beads as they string.
- To help develop sequencing skills, arrange all of the strung beads in numerical order.
- To help develop recognition, call out a # and have the child hold up the correct pipe cleaner.
- You can introduce the concept of even and odd for older children.
- Change the type of pony bead shape or color to match holidays.
Counting activities are very important because it helps to develop the following three aspects.
- Counting in a sequence out loud: 1,2,3, etc.
- Understanding how much is 3 and by being able to show or give three items.
- Recognizing and Identifying.