A couple of days ago, my daughter dumped an entire bag of plastic pony beads all over the craft room floor. Normally I would have been eager to clean them up quickly and put them away, but I was in a good teachery mood and turned this mess into a learning experience! Boo wanted to know how many beads we had. A lesson objective was planned- organize beads in groups of 10 and then count by 10s to see how many beads we had all together.
After my daughter used tongs to place beads on a picture frame we had lying around, we started making number bead sticks. I grabbed some pipe cleaners, cut them in half, and added 10 beads to each pipe cleaner. SO EASY! To tie of the end, just twist the wire until the beads can’t come off. We had a great time adding beads and tried our hand at simple patterns. This was also a great fine motor skills activity.
There were a couple things I would have done differently during this activity. First- instead of just doing 10 sticks, I would have made 1-9 sticks as well.
And just like the Montessori number beads, I would have color coded each number stick. For example, all the 10 sticks would be blue beads, all the 9 sticks would be brown beads, etc.
Lucky for you, I quickly whipped up an example!
I am linking up this post to Every Day Math Play at TeachPreschool