Valentine's Day is in the air, and we are making probably the most popular craft: threading beads on pipe cleaners, making hearts. Threading is an amazing fine motor practice for little hands, and with Valentine's Day approaching, what is a better use for your beaded pipe cleaners than turning them into heart ornaments, decorations or even Valentine's class gifts!
We found beads and pipe cleaners at a local craft store; buy this wooden tray set here.
First, make a knot at the end of the pipe cleaner, so that beads would not fall off once threaded.
Follow the child!
Adrian did a similar beading activity for Christmas (read here 🎅🏻Christmas Inspired Candy Cane Pipe Cleaner DIY Craft), and back then, at 37 months, a three-color-pattern was fun and not too overwhelming. Now, at 39 months, Adrian chose a more challenging pattern: red-white-red-white-white (5-bead pattern). Older children can have even a more complicated patterns, while smaller children might enjoy alternating just two colors (for example red-white).
Threading requires coordination of small muscles in hands and fingers, leading to strong fine-motor skills, which are essential in completing tasks such as writing, drawing, putting puzzle pieces together, cutting, using a fork or spoon, zipping, buttoning, tying shoelaces and so forth. This activity definitely sustained Adrian's attention, and it required his concentration, patience, and precision while developing his memory (he had to remember the pattern after-all).
p.s. Julia ended up making these hearts for her classmates as Classroom Valentine's Day Gifts, but smaller versions since she had to make 36! of them. (Read a post here).
For more on Valentine's activities, see here the roundup "❤️Valentine's Inspired Activities for Kids."