I have a fabulous stash of beads from when I was younger, and Annabelle has been having fun sorting and threading with them. I picked up a blue multi-section tray in the end of summer sale at Sainsbury’s as they are great for sorting and exploring. Annabelle asked to get out the green tray (the lid from a box of Duplo!) and she enjoyed filling the little compartments with beads.
After she had explored and had a good rummage through the beads, we had a go at sorting by shape. I showed her some different shaped beads, and where I was going to put them and she joined in finding the correct compartments for her beads to go into.
Next we had a go at some threading using wooden sticks. We used wooden skewers and I snipped the sharp end off with sharp scissors. You can also use spaghetti although this might be a bit brittle. We threaded with beads as we have them already, but you can use coloured pasta, cut up straws, or chunky wooden beads. I used a lump of playdough to secure the stick, and a bowl to catch strays!
Annabelle was instantly fascinated with this, and happy to concentrate and persevere with tricky beads. She soon discovered which beads were too small and which ones were easiest to thread. I loved seeing how hard she concentrated, and how quickly she developed the control to carefully thread the small beads.
Annabelle has asked for this activity nearly every day since we first tried it, and we have since combined the sorting and threading activities ie “let’s find all the orange beads, I would like to make an orange tower” or “shall we use all the sparkly beads?”. I can see this being a firm favourite before we move onto threading with strings and elastics.