Fine motor skills activities (ones that build up the small muscles in hands, thumbs and fingers) are essential for learning to write. They are also important for other tasks such as using a knife and fork, doing up zips on clothes etc.
Threading Beads is a useful Fine Motor Activity for toddlers, preschoolers and children with additional needs. It is also great fun!
In my experience, it’s often best to use chunky Beads to start with as it requires a lot of dexterity to thread small beads and they are also a choking hazard for young children.
I’m currently using Wooden Threading Beads by Toys of Wood Oxford.
But there are many alternatives, including using house hold items such as uncooked pasta (again watch small children don’t put this in their mouths)
Threading beads can be a lovely therapeutic and Sensory activity for children. Children love the end product of a necklace that they’ve made.
Try not be disillusioned if your child can’t thread the beads at first. Give them lots of praise for their attempts. It can require scaffolding by you before they can do it themselves. Including:
- Watching someone demonstrate (modelling the task)
- Doing half of the task, e.g. the adult threading the bead in and the child pulling it through.
- Taking it in turns to thread a bead.
This task can be extended to develop creativity by encouraging the child to make their own necklaces, choosing colours and shapes of beads to create patterns.
Other skills such as counting and naming colours can be reinforced during the activity.