Hands on Math Activity with Beads, Pipe Cleaners and Dice

Math is not my strength… I have no problem admitting it. M and M however have gotten hubby’s “math brain”. They love a good math activity and since I love giving them learning experiences I’ve gotten pretty good at making math activities available.

This hands on Math Activity can be used for a wide range of math concepts so it’s great for preschoolkindergarten and even young school age kids.

Bead and Pipe Cleaner Hands on Math Activity

math activity

What you need: Pipe cleaners, beads, dice and a container.

Math Activity

Patterns ~ Grab a pipe cleaner and make a simple pattern. Ask your little one to make a pattern too. As they get more practice try adding in a color or two making the pattern more complicated.

This would make a fun pattern game as well. You start a pattern and let your little one finish it up. Then switch it up and have your little one start a pattern for you to finish.

Count ~ Roll the die and add that amount of beads to the pipe cleaner. Simple!

To make it a little more difficult use two or three dice. Your kids will get practice counting the dots on the die as well as counting the beads.

Add ~ Bend a pipe cleaner in half. Roll one die. Put that amount of beads on one half of the pipe cleaner. Roll the other die. Put that amount of beads on the other half of the pipe cleaner. Count how many beads you have all together.

This is a great way for kids to see addition in action. You might even want to straighten the pipe cleaner and push the beads together. Use the words plus and equals. “Four beads plus three beads equals seven beads.”

Once you’ve shown your little one a couple different ways to use these beads and pipe cleaners, leave it out. With free exploration they may find another creative way to use the materials.

Wouldn’t this make a great rainy day or quiet time activity? If you love this math activity check out my Math for Kids Pinterest Board.

*** Always supervise young kids with small objects. ***


  1. says

    Creative way to get the young’uns engaged in the math world. There have been many programs that try to sell “your kids will learn math in no time” but there’s nothing like hands on preparation. Their minds and manual skills get to be exercised.

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