Friday, December 17, 2010

Stringing Beads

I have probably written about stringing beads before and what fabulous fine motor/hand-eye activity practice beading it encourages color awareness, pattern development, shape awareness, and size awareness (length). I like to use shoelaces (with a knot at one end) and my other favorite "stringer" is a pipecleaner. They stay stiff for the child to push on the beads and best of all, the beads don't slip off the end easily because the fuzzy strands grip them in place. We started initially with large, wooden beads (from Michael's bead deparment), moved on to the large-holed plastic "pony beads" (from Walmart's craft dept.) and recently I introduced her to a mix of beads with smaller holes, requiring more precision, but offering some more challenge. This was just a box I used in my first grade classroom, and she discovered the little alphabet beads in there and went crazy! She found all the letters she knew and was very interested in using them. I keep a little baggie of beads and a shoelace in my purse for emergencies when we need to keep her entertained. Q loves to make the pipecleaners into bracelets for people she loves! Lately she has a hard time leaving the beads on, though. She's figured out she can slide them all off by pushing the bottom one up, and it's just too hard to we have a lot of empty pipecleaners at the end of beading sessions. :)
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