toddler bead strand activity box to develop fine motor skills - everyones sleeping but mom

Fine Motor Skills Activity Box: Bead Stranding

One activity box I can always count on Luca asking for is his bead strand box for fine motor skills.

Our attempts to Montessori our home education began this past winter.

Thankfully, I’ve got a pretty supportive family. For his birthday, Luca got a ton of new Montessori-style toys.

Still, sometimes the simplest activity boxes I created that first weekend are Luca’s favorite.

toddler bead strand activity box to develop fine motor skills - everyones sleeping but mom

One of the most important part of developing an at home Montessori environment is to have prepared materials available for the child at all times.

And a bead strand activity box is a really simple one to put together.

Toddler Bead Strand Fine Motor Skills Activity Box

toddler bead strand activity box to develop fine motor skills - everyones sleeping but mom

We are still in the beginning stages of bead stranding. I’ve decided to start Luca out with pipe cleaners instead of string or shoelace.

The stiffness of the pipe cleaners makes the task a bit easier. Once he masters the pipe cleaners, we’ll switch over to string.


For our beads, I used an assorted bead pack.

toddler bead strand activity box to develop fine motor skills - everyones sleeping but mom

I picked these beads for a few different reasons.

Having beads in all different shapes, sizes, and colors is great for comparing and contrasting similar objects.

Also, the beads all have difference textures to them. This makes his bead strand activity box also doubles as a sensory box.

This work is one that can evolve as he learns and grows.

Once he masters the fine motor skills to strand the beads, we will work on pattern replicating.

I’ll simply leave one pipe cleaner with a pattern already started in the box.

Then, he will have to sort through the beads, find the ones he needs, and repeat the pattern.

It takes a lot of control and concentration for him to strand the beads. The bigger beads are easier to strand, so we’ve started with those.

The smaller beads will require more advanced fine motor skills to master.

toddler bead strand activity box to develop fine motor skills - everyones sleeping but mom

Having a combination of easier and more difficult beads to strand keeps his attention longer.

He’s the kind of kid who likes a challenge.

Bead stranding also helps promote independence. There isn’t an easy way for me to help him, so he knows he must master it on his own.

What other ways are you working on fine motor skills with your toddler? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!

toddler bead strand activity box to develop fine motor skills - everyones sleeping but mom

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38 thoughts on “Fine Motor Skills Activity Box: Bead Stranding

  1. I love this fine motor box! the skills you’re having them practice are so necessary, but not always learned with imaginary toy play. We had a busy box when the youngest was a newborn and it was amazing. Once he’s a little older I would love to make one like this for them…he’s still eating everything.

    1. So true! It’s been great so far. Luckily my son was never one for putting everything in his mouth but I have had to remove a few beads from the bin that he thought looked like carrots because he kept trying to eat them lol

    1. That’s a really good idea! I will have to try that. My son would find the different texture and size lots of fun!

    1. Thanks! That’s one of the reasons we started doing activities like this. He’s improved a lot since we began a few months ago! And I try to keep a bunch of different prepared activities for days when he has a hard time finding something that sticks. Good luck!

    1. Thanks! This is his favorite sensory activity right now since he is on a rice bin ban for throwing it all over lol Thanks so much!

  2. My kids loved stringing beads. I did not have any organized activity, I just let them create. I love how you guide him to increase learning.

    1. Thank you! The daycare we send him to is more like all day play and do whatever you like haha so I try to have some more structured activities for him at home to help him prepare for school and make learning fun

  3. oh I am always looking for games to play with tots – this is basically free and actually educational – I love it.

  4. This looks like such a fun activity. I love when kids find an activity that they sit and do with such attention and interest. I am going to put something together like this for my granddaughter. I know she will love it Thank you for sharing this post in the All For Mamas Link Party Week 4 #allformamas I will share this post on the facebook group page, my page, and use your share buttons to share to flipboard, pinterest, twitter, g+ and stumbleupon

  5. This is wonderful! What fun! I cannot wait to do this with my littles! (Once they stop eating everything haha!) pinning for later!!!! Thanks mama!

  6. That’s a great idea. I’m looking for ideas for my toddler to keep him busy. My older 2 boys attended a Montessori Pre School and loved the sensory play. The best part is it’s so easy to create the same experiences at home.

    1. Thanks! I agree. I really do think the Montessori activities are so much better for younger children than traditional schools.

  7. This is a great idea. My youngest little boy at 14months has excellent fine motor skills for his age. This will be an awesome activity to challenge him when he gets a bit older. I will be pinning! Thanks

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