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.

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.

Straw Necklaces

Cut the plastic straws into about 1-inch pieces.

Lace the small straw pieces into the string or yarn to create a straw necklace.

You can use different color plastic straws and create matching patterns for the straw necklaces.

Wind Sock

Cut tissue paper into 1-inch strips.

Using the markers color the crafts sticks.

Glue the crafts onto the toilet paper roll.

Glue tissue paper onto the inside of the toilet paper roll.

On the opposite end of the toilet paper roll, attach a string using tape to the inside.