I cannot remember where I read about this idea first, but I was reminded of it from Money Saving Mom and had to try it.
* A water noodle
* Cutting board
* Ruler if you're picky like that
* Rope, yarn, or some kind of string
* Tape (for the ends of the rope so they dont fray)
* Put the noodle on the cutting board and cut a 1 inch segment (more or less)
* Use the piece you just cut to measure out the next one
* Continue until you have as many as you want (I made 20)
* Cut a piece of rope to a little longer than all your noodle "beads" in a row
* Tape the end of the rope or string
* Demonstrate to your child how to "lace" the "beads"
This activity teaches fine motor skills and coordination. You can use it to teach patterns and colors if you use more than one color or style noodle.
Plan in action:
Boogie figured this out pretty quickly and would do one or two then swing the rope around to send the beads flying all over the room. He thought that was great fun. Wash, rinse, repeat. Noodles everywhere. But he did understand the concept and could very easily manipulate both the "beads" and the "lace." He also enjoyed building towers with the noodle pieces, and lining them up on the floor in a row. We talked about how they were circles and how they were blue too. And we counted them.