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Placing Beads on a String (Randomly; By Color; By Number)

“Threadin’ The Needle”


A long, thin shoestring and a bucket of different colored ½-inch beads (you can buy the beads and string at an educational toy store or a craft store).

  • Tie a knot at one end of the string (big enough that the beads won’t come off).
  • Take any colored bead and show your child how to put the unknotted end of the string through the hole in the bead. Then show your child how to pull the bead down the string until it reaches the end.
  • Encourage your child to do the same with a different string and bead. He may, at first, only be able to put the string through the hole, and may be unable to coordinate both hands to pull the bead down the string. Provide hand-over-hand assistance if necessary.
  • When your child has mastered the skill of putting beads on a string consistently, here are some activities you can do:

1)    See if your child can copy patterns that you have made such as using two colors, and alternating them on the string (e.g., red, blue, red, blue). Make the patterns more difficult as your child progresses (e.g., red, blue, green, yellow, red, blue, green, yellow, etc).

2)    Have your child put the correct number of beads on in a certain color (e.g., first tell Your child three red, then five blue, then two green, etc.).

3)    Buy beads that are both different colors and different shapes (e.g., round, oval, square, rectangle). Have your child reproduce patterns that you have made using both different colors and shapes.