Playful Math: Learning to Count with Pipe Cleaner Numbers

By 4:00 AM , , ,

Set up a simple invitation to practice math skills such as number recognition, counting, and 1:1 correspondence with two materials-- pony beads and pipe cleaners.  This math activity is a great way for your child to strengthen those fine motor skills, too as your child threads beads onto the pipe cleaner numbers.  It is a great activity for your preschool or kindergarten aged child!
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Simple Math Tray for PreK-Kindergarteners

To prep the activity, you'll need:


Hands-on Preschool Math


Either prep the pipe cleaner numbers prior to your child using the tray, or work alongside your child creating the pipe cleaner numbers together.  Bend and twist the pipe cleaners into the numbers 0-9.  If necessary, cut the pipe cleaners with scissors.  This is great practice to strengthen fine motor skills!

playful math for preschoolers

Once the pipe cleaners have been shaped into numbers, set out a small bowl of pony beads.

Encourage your child to thread a certain number of beads on each pipe cleaner number.  Some numbers may be a bit tricky, like number 8-- you will need to unwrap the pipe cleaner a bit to thread the beads on the number.

playful preschool math activity

Continue until all the pipe cleaner numbers have a corresponding amount of pony beads.

Once done, work on addition, odd/ even numbers, subtraction, etc!

Such a simple and playful way to explore math!
playful math for preschoolers

Another fun and playful way to learn with pipe cleaners is by shaping them into letters!  Once you have bended and twisted all the pipe cleaners into letters of the alphabet, challenge your child to spell words from his/her spelling list!  It's the perfect activity for older kiddos!

  99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

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