Pipe Cleaner and Bead Rainbow Craft
We started with a bunch of pipe cleaners
in rainbow colors. I bent them a little to make a little rainbow shape, but you don’t need to do that before beading.
How pretty are these beads??
RELATED READ: Try these neat pincer grasp activities to develop fine motor skills.
Fine Motor Skills with Beading
Threading the beads onto pipe cleaners is a great way to reinforce fine motor skills with toddlers and preschoolers. (Older kids love this activity too! Big Sister came home from school later in the day and had to make a few colors of her own!)
Kids need to manipulate beads with both hands together in a coordinated manner. Bilateral Hand Coordination is a key skill for many self-care and school-based tasks. You couldn’t tie shoes, manage buttons and zippers, cut paper, or hold paper when writing without using both hands in a coordinated way.
Picking up the beads uses a pincer grasp (pinching the beads between the tips of the index finger and thumb. This is a precise grasp and picking out one bead among many in a tray really works those fine motor skills.
To thread the bead on a pipe cleaner, the child really works on their tripod grasp. What a great way to work on pre-handwriting skills!
Our rainbow is almost finished!
To get a little more fine motor work into this activity, I pulled out a sheet of Styrofoam. I helped the kids by poking a hole into the board with a pencil. Then, I showed them how to push the end of the pipe cleaners into the holes to make a rainbow. Little Guy was my helper and engineer in this part of the activity. He liked to tell me the order of the colors we needed and helped with bending the arches of our rainbow.