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.