Looking for a cost-effective activity that will keep Baby busy for a while? Head to the store for string and something to string on it! Stringing beads takes coordination, dexterity, and patience, but beads themselves are often small enough to be choking hazards for curious toddlers. Any object with a hole through it can function as a bead for this type of activity, though, from plastic bangles to the rings that hold shower curtains onto the bar, can be a great way for Baby to practice their dexterity. For more bead-shaped objects that won’t be a choking hazard, showing them how to string Cheerios or other O-shaped cereal can be great for some skill-building playing with their food. More than just a way of building skills, though, stringing together “jewelry” is often a hit with toddlers who are developing their very own sense of style.
To start, offer Baby a thick, manageable piece of string, or even a pipe-cleaner, which can be a great way to get started, and show them how to add the first makeshift-bead, before offering them the rest of them to get started.
As Baby grasps the beads, they are honing their fine motor skills, and continues to as they strings whatever they are using as beads onto the cord. Visual motor skills come into play here as well, as they use hand-eye coordination to put the pieces together. Both of these skills are helpful for tasks to come later, like buttoning, clasping, and zipping up clothing.
As Baby graduates to next-level bead-stringing, you can use beading as a learning tool for counting how many beads they use, and identifying the color of each bead. This activity can become a creative outlet, too, and can build Baby’s self-esteem as they get better and better.