Visual Counting with beads. There are different numbers on each pipe cleaner, this number indicates how many beads the students are supposed to have. A teacher could also bring ideas of color coded beads to each number (i.e. Use green beads with number 1, 3, and 5 – Use read beads with number 12, etc.).
Materials Needed if counting to 20:
1 – Scissors
1 – Glue Stick
15 – Pipe Cleaners
20 – 2×1 inch pieces of construction paper
A good sized handful of beads (at least enough to fill each pipe cleaner)
1 – Bowl or container
Use the scissors to cut the construction paper into 2×1 inch pieces and the pipe cleaners in half. After cutting, fold each piece in half and write the number on each side. Once each piece is numbered, cover the inside with glue. Place a half piece of a pipe cleaner on glue to make a flag, so to speak. Continue until all number flags are put together. When glue has had time to set, put beads in the bowl and start counting.
Appropriate Age Level:
This activity could be used for multiple grade levels. If you are working with beginner counters I would suggest maybe only going to ten, maybe 15. You could also do addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division on these to make it useable for older levels.
*When/if using with young children, make sure to watch carefully. We do not want anyone choking on a bead or two.
*Also, explain that the beads are not to be throw at anything or anyone.