Busy Bag: Pipe Cleaner Bead Stringing

Pipe Cleaner Bead Stringing Busy Bag

You know what, sometimes I go to a lot of trouble to make a busy bag or other project and it turns out to be a total flop. What I thought would surely captivate my child for hours held his attention for less than a minute, one time, then was never looked at again.

Then there are days when I pour some pony beads I got at the Target dollar spot into a ziplock bag and toss some pipe cleaners in with it, not expecting a whole lot…and that same child plays with it over and over and over again. *forehead smack*

Pipe Cleaner Bead Stringing Busy Bag

This busy bag is so stinkin’ simple, literally takes less than a minute to throw together, and builds so many skills!

Pipe Cleaner Bead Stringing Busy Bag

You will need:

pipe cleaners

pony beads (Note: these are small. If your child still mouths toys or you have any concern about them possibly ingesting small items…or sticking them up their nose…ahem, you should wait until they are a little older to use these beads. Pony beads are typically recommended for children ages 3 and up.)

ziplock bags (snack size to store beads, quart or gallon to store pipe cleaners and bead bag)

Pipe Cleaner Bead Stringing Busy Bag

This busy bag can be used to promote fine motor skills (stringing the beads), colors (identifying, naming, matching, etc), numbers and counting, patterns, and so much more. You all know I’m a sucker for busy bags that foster growth in multiple areas. Don’t believe me? See here, here, and here.

At this point, Buddy really just likes stringing beads and then sliding them all off together back into the bag. We talk about colors and count the beads as he goes. He gets the general concept of a pattern and can usually continue an ABAB (eg. blue red blue red) pattern that I have started for him but isn’t at the point that he can create a pattern on his own…yet. Though he will tell you he is making patterns. Which is cute. 🙂

Pipe Cleaner Bead Stringing Busy Bag

I like the use of the pipe cleaner. It provides a slightly more stable/rigid stringing apparatus (that’s a giant word…name that Nick Jr. show!) for young fingers to work with rather than a shoelace. Though a shoelace would be a nice option as well if you have one on hand. Feel free to try out all kinds of variations to see what works best for, and challenges, your child!

Happy playful learning!


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