Monday, December 8, 2014

8 Ways to Learn with Beads

Looking for an easy way to incorporate some Montessori inspired learning into your home? Try using beads! I love beads. Because they come in so many varieties, you likely have some already and they are super cheap. 

montessori, practical life, beads, preschool

I used a bunch a beads in this post, but really you can use whatever you have. Depending on the size of the beads, these activities can work for toddlers or preschoolers. 

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Spooning 


For this, all you need is two cups and a spoon. Have the child transfer the beads from one cup (from left to right) to the other. Use smaller beads and spoons for older children and larger ones for toddlers. This is great for learning skills needed for eating and other fine motor work. I used glass cups, a glass spoon and small glass beads


Counting


Use beads as counters! They help children learn that numbers represent actual amounts. This might be best saved for preschoolers. I used glass tile numbers and silver, plastic beads.

Tweezing 



All you need is some cups, beads and a tweezer! The tweezing motion promotes important fine motor skills and muscle development that is needed later for writing! Just pinch from left to right. Younger children could use tongs instead of small tweezers. 


Pouring 


I used two small glass pitchers so beads could be poured between them. This helps with hand-eye coordination and control. And, you know what's nice? Preschoolers that can pour their own drinks!

Color Sorting


Use beads to reinforce color matching! For older preschoolers, use them to introduce rainbow order. Here, I used a divided tray, felt, and {my favorite} colored wooden beads


Lacing 


This one is perfect even for the youngest toddler. Use a shoestring, rope, or ribbon and any size bead. The larger the bead, the easier for toddlers. You can even work pattern learning into this one! Here, I used a rope and large wooden beads. 


Sensory Bin


This is perfect for open ended play, fine motor control, and cultivating creativity. This is perfect for children of all ages. Let them lead! I used colored beads, added scoops, tongs and buckets.


Transferring


This is a particularly big hit with young toddlers. It's all about transferring bead from a smaller container into a hole in a larger container. It requires them to move the bead upwards and into a smaller space. Here, I used plain wooden beads and an old deli container.


These are just a few of the many ways that you can learn with beads! How do you use beads in your home? 

3 comments:

  1. Love this Nicole!! We use a lot of beads too. I hacked the big beads from the Ikea "roller coaster" toy, and the smaller beads from the M&D abacus. I also saved some of the mini necklace beads for when Z is a little older. I particularly like beads because they can "stand" without rolling all over, but it requires careful control of movement on the child's part -- this is good practice for patience! Sharing and pinning!

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    Replies
    1. Elaine, love your hacks! I should start collecting beads as well.

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  2. I would certainly borrow the ideas here :) Thank you for sharing!

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