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.

Paper Roll Caterpillar

Caterpillar shape glued

Using the pencil and the ruler, mark the toilet roll every 2 inches and draw around the tube. These will be cutting lines we will use to create the paper roll caterpillar body.

Take the scissors and cut around the marks you have made so that you are left with several short tubes.

Paint the tubes both on the inside and outside, it is more effective if you paint the outside a different color to the inside.

Glue the tubes to each other, end to end, putting one tube aside to use for the head later.

Glue the head tube on the top of the last tube in the chain.

Using the glue, stick the two wiggle eyes on the head.

Draw a mouth just below the wiggle eyes.

Using the felt or the pipe cleaners, cut two short pieces and stick onto the top of the head to make antenna.

Cut two more pieces for each body section the caterpillar has and stick these onto the bottom to create legs.

Colorful flower art

Colorful flower art

Use the scissors to cut 1/2 inch wide lines along the toilet paper roll. Do not cut all the way to the other side. These will become the flower petals.

Paint the cut toilet paper roll.

Put a few glue dots on the tissue paper.

Crumple the tissue paper to a ball. This will be the flower pistil in the center.

Glue the crumpled tissue paper to the painted toilet paper roll.

Colored Pipes

Colored Paper Rolls

Label each roll or tube by color.

Attach the tubes onto a wall, door, or window using some tape or clear self-adhesive magic cover.

Place pom-poms in a container.

Ask the child to kneel while sorting the colored pom-poms into the right tube.

Use tongs to work on hand strength and grasp.

 

TP Roll Snake

Pull open the TP roll all the way.

Provide the child with paint and a brush and instruct him to paint it. You can also choose markers or crayons to color the snake.

Once dry, you can have the child use Q-tips to paint the snake, or crumble little pieces of tissue paper, and/or use stickers.

Depending on the child developmental skills, either cut a snake’s tongue out of red construction paper or have him cut it himself.

Finally, the child can glue the tongue and the wiggly eyes on one end of the TP roll. If you don’t have wiggly eyes in hand, you can use small buttons.

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.