Threading and Lacing

Awhile ago we checked out some lacing beads from the library. They're just above Silas' ability level, though, and were making him really frustrated. So, I started looking around for some similar activities that we could make that might be more in line with what he's capable of right now. The first one we made using an old yogurt container and some coffee stirrers. 

Since I couldn't remove the label from the container, I covered it with white duct tape and then drilled nine holes in the lid that were large enough to accommodate the straws. The straws were too long to fit into the container, so I cut them in half.

He took to it right away, putting all the straws through the holes and then asking me to take off the lid and dump them out so that he could do it again.

He mastered it fairly quickly and within a week, he was ready to move on. He discovered that the straws are pretty awesome to chew on and he likes to feed them to the puppets instead ("NumNumNum!").

Next, we flipped over a colander and I handed him a fistful of pipe cleaners.

He loves this activity. It came very easily for him and he's still very engaged with it. I was surprised; I thought that this was going to be the challenging one, but it turned out not to be. It hits spot on with his ability level.

Finally, I put three wooden spools and a chopstick in a basket.

This has turned out to be the most challenging of the three activities for him. He tends to hold the chopstick by the end and so has a hard time getting it into the hole of the spool. This pushes him right to the edge of his frustration level, which has has served to make him all the more determined to master it.


  1. Such great ideas, love the pipe cleaners and the colander.

  2. How brilliant! Where were you with these ideas when I needed them...oh yeah, kindergarten...never mind.

  3. Dude! Flipping brilliant. Every single idea! I'm so using them all tomorrow.

    1. We did the pipe cleaners and colander today, it was awesome for the 15 month o,d and the three year old!

    2. Awesome! I'm so glad to hear that it has some staying power with the older ones as well!

  4. These are great ideas! Now that my girls are older, they love threading pony beads onto pipe cleaners -- so much easier than onto a string!