DIY Abacus Counting Frame (Rack Rack)

This activity provides many benefits while creating the abacus and while playing with the finished product.

To create the abacus:

Use 2 toilet paper rolls or cut a paper towel roll in half.

Use the pencil to mark and puncture equal height dots on each paper roll. The pipe cleaners will be attached there.

Cut the pipe cleaners to be equal length. Each one should be about 6 inches in length.

Insert one side of the pipe cleaner to the top hole on the paper roll.

Put 10 beads on the 1st pipe cleaner, and repeat these last 2 steps until you put all the pipe cleaners in the holes, and string all the pipe cleaners.

Insert the other end of the pipe cleaner into the 2nd paper roll.

Let your child be a part of putting this together to promote pincer grasp, bilateral hand use, and eye-hand coordination.

Don’t have pipe cleaners? Use a string instead.

Don’t have beads? Use Cheerios or buttons.

While playing with the abacus, the child gets to practice these skills as well.

Cutting Dr. Seuss’s Hat

DrSeuss hat and materials

Use the provided Dr. Seuss’s Hat shape template (download here) or draw your own on a construction paper with markers.

To work on snipping, cut long strips of red construction paper, and mark short lines for the child to snip (see image).

Provide the child with the hat template and the red paper stripes.

Instruct the child to snip on the lines.

Have the child glue the pieces that he cut into the hat template. If needed, provide the child with visual cues where to glue the pieces.

Grading Options

  • Work on hand strength by asking the child to tear the paper into small pieces, instead of cutting.
  • Use pieces of tissue paper and have the child crumble them, then glue them to the paper.
  • If the child is able to cut on a line, or to practice cutting on a line, draw long lines for the child to cut and match to the size of the stripes on the hat.

 

Construction Paper Guitar

Using a large piece of cardboard or construction paper, draw the shape of the guitar’s body. If the child is able to draw it by himself, allow him to do so. Otherwise, let the child trace your drawing, using a thick marker.

Ask the child to cut out the shape, following the lines. Depending on the child’s skill level, make the line thicker, and provide support as needed. Once the child cuts out the guitar’s shape out, ask him to draw or trace a circle in the middle of the guitar’s body. You can use a round object to help with drawing an accurate shape.

Instruct the child to cut out the circle, providing support as needed.

Using a single hole puncher, carefully have the child punch three holes on either side of the circle he just cut. Using 3 rubber bands, ask the child to cut through them so they are now one long string.

Instruct the child to thread each rubber band across 2 parallel holes, and tie on each end. Provide support as needed for tying the rubbers in place.

Using another piece of cardboard or construction paper, ask the child to draw or trace a rectangle. Instruct the child to cut it out, and use the glue and tape to attach it to the top part of the guitar’s body. To make the guitar look more life like, ask the child to draw lines continuing from the bands up the stem of the guitar.

Fall Trees

Hand Flower

On a piece of construction paper, either draw a picture of a tree trunk and branches or have the child draw one for you.

Then give them a paper plate with 3 small dots of different colors of paint.

Ask them to dip one finger at a time into the paint and “dot” onto the trees to make the leaves.

For a fall tree, dot some paint at the bottom as well or along the sides as if the leaves are falling.

Paper Rolls Building

Draw 2″ circles on the cardboard sheets. Cut them out, or let the child cut them if the cardboard is not too thick.

Instruct the child to cut 4 narrow slots on each circle, about 1/2″ deep, leaving about 1″ space between slots. Slots need to be as wide as the cardboard is.

Provide the child with different size paper rolls (i.e. toilet paper rolls, paper towels rolls, etc.).
Note: You can use one size roll and cut it into different sizes.

Instruct the child to cut 4 narrow slots on each edge of the roll, leaving about 1″ space between slots. Slots need to be as wide as the cardboard is.

Have the child color the paper rolls.

Let the child connect between the rolls to build structures and sculptures.