Simple fine motor: Beading Toothpicks

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I cut tiny pieces of electrical tape and folded them over the pointy ends of the toothpicks to protect little fingers from getting poked.  It also served to keep the beads on the toothpick and it made it a little more of an exercise to push the beads over the tape.

Corinne (2.5) had no problems at all manipulating the beads over the tape.  I would suggest using a flexible tape though.

I set out a tray with beads and the end-taped toothpicks and my little one was entertained for quite some time.  She beaded, un-beaded, and re-beaded again, talked about colors, counted beads, tilted them up and down to watch and listen to the beads slide, and lined up her bead sticks.  Older children could also create and/or repeat patterns.  Obviously, this is an activity that requires adult supervision for the little ones due to the small beads.

It took all of five or ten minutes to gather materials and tape the ends of the toothpicks.  I would say she was entertained with them for about the same amount of time (yes, ten minutes is "quite some time" for a two year old in my book).  They are reusable, so they can be zipped into a plastic bag and brought out again another day- gotta love that!

If you are looking for more fine motor activities, check out my Fine Motor board on Pinterest for more ideas!

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  1. I love the simplicity of this, Tanya! Activities like this are so perfect on the road, too! Thanks for linking up with Montessori Monday (and for sharing over the weekend). I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LivingMontessoriNow

  2. This is so simple but will keep little kids busy. Visiting from Pin it Tuesday!


  3. I love this. I have tried beading with my 2 year old son, but we used plastic cord, and he found it difficult. Love the idea of toothpicks! Will make it MUCH easier!

    Thanks for linking up to Pin It Tuesday!

    Katie @ http://herpretty.com

  4. This is the perfect beading activity for my preschooler. He is really good at beading and I keep trying to find more difficult things for him to bead. I think this is the perfect thing to try next!

  5. Love it -- especially the possibilities as far as patterning goes. Not sure how many beads actually fit on a toothpick, but I was also thinking you could make some 10's sticks out of these. If not, then maybe something longer...well, definitely pipe cleaners could work. Hmmm... got me thinking!

  6. Love this! So many things a person can do with beads :)

    Thank you for sharing & linking up at "Pin it" Tuesday!
    See you NEXT week!!

  7. I just love this activity, and I already plan on trying it with some toddlers I watch, as well as in my preschool classroom. It's pinned and ready to go! :) Thanks so much for sharing at Stress-Free Sunday this weekend. I'll be featuring this post during the next one!

  8. Wonderful idea! Thank you for sharing at Tender Moments!

  9. Thanks for linking this activity to Tuesday Tots. I've featured it this week on Learn with Play at Home :)



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