Kindergarten Teacher


Patterns with Perler Beads and Pipe Cleaners


I have posted about using perler beads HERE and HERE and continue to find new ways to use them in the class. This idea comes from a great comment on my first post by my good friend @happycampergirl. She suggested adding pipe cleaners in with the beads and I saved that idea for this week when we are knee-deep in patters. The kids LOVED the center and I was excited listening to them describe and discuss patterns as they worked. This activity is great for fine motor and also for stamina as it takes continued effort to fill up the entire pipe cleaner.


8 Responses to Patterns with Perler Beads and Pipe Cleaners

  1. To give you EVEN MORE perler bead ideas: we also play a game where kids take turns rolling a dice and put that many beads on a pipe cleaner. First to fill the pipe cleaner wins. I recommend cutting the pipe cleaners in half if you’re playing with a single dice (die? I never know what is correct) – otherwise the game gets VERY long….

  2. I like to do this activity at Christmas time and make the pipe cleaner into a candy cane shape. Instant Christmas decoration from your patterning activity!

    • Matt Gomez says:

      Sounds like a great activity. We have a very ethnic population and so we usually avoid religious holiday activities. We learn about many different traditions and holidays but skip the art projects most of the time. Thanks for sharing!

  3. The beads and pipe cleaners also make great “retelling” bracelets. We’ve used them to retell Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? (bear=brown, bird=red, duck=yellow, etc) and for a non-fiction pumpkin life cycle bracelet (see=white, vine=light green, blossom=yellow, etc). Students practised retelling with the bracelets then took them home along with the corresponding book to share with their families. A wonderful prompt for my ELL leaners.

  4. Great idea. We are using beads and pipe cleaners to work on addition, subtraction, and matching. You can add 2 different pipe cleaners or subtract them. Subtraction works really well because you can take them off as you go. We are also using the beads and pipe cleaners to match numbers with the amount of beads on a cleaner.

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