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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Inexpensive Resource: Beads

Beads: Small but Mighty!

Curriculum can get expensive, and some people cannot afford to buy fancy lessons with fancy pieces, but here's a simple item that can teach many things! Beads!

Of course, children who still have a tendency to put things in their mouths should not play with beads, but you know when your child is ready. (And, word to the wise, you might want to make sure your three-year-old doesn't shove them up his nose... not that we had that happen.... or, um.. anything.)

A bag of beads is pretty cheap, but have so many uses. First of all, the obvious. Beads are great for sorting colors. Give your child a handful of beads and ask him to sort it out. Don't tell him how to sort him out, though. See what creative way he comes up with.

Don't be too much of an adult that you don't take the time to join in the fun. I usually participate in most of my children's activities as well. While he's sorting his beads, you can be sorting a pile of your own. Maybe he'll pay attention and copy you, maybe not. After a while, ask him how he's sorting his beads, and then explain how you are sorting yours (by color). Ask him, "What is your favorite color bead?"

Beads can also be used to make letters and shapes. Take a piece of paper and draw the letter your child is learning on it (big enough, but not too big that you won't have enough beads to "trace it" with). Have your child trace her finger over the letter, and then place the beads along the lines of the letter.

Use the beads to form pictures, maybe yellow beads to shape a sun, blue beads to shape clouds, green beads for grass and so on. If you just let your child use her imagination (no directing and correcting every little thing) as she plays with the beads, she'll probably come up with some cool ideas.
Give your child a string (a shoelace or piece of yarn works) to thread the beads on. This takes quite a big of coordination! Some children will naturally make a pattern, some will not.

Beads are great to use for math as well. This gives them a visual as you add and subtract beads. There are so many different ways to use beads. The possibilities are endless! Try coming up with your own ideas (maybe even a game) using beads.... and let me know what they are!


Kristin-Homemaker@Heart said...

Jesse's dad made some really big beads like a grape tomato and painted them all sorts of colors when they homeschooled. Which is how they taught math. They recently gave them to us.
I love them.

Anonymous said...

Your ad is up!