Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Replicating Patterns & Stringing Beads

We've had these Melissa & Doug stringing beads for many months, but they don't get played with much. At least they don't really get strung in the manner in which they are intended.

I figured out a new way to tap into the potential of this simple, yet educational toy.
  • I created three different patterns based on color and shape. I chose yellow, red and orange in honor of autumn.
  • I took a picture of each pattern I created, developed the prints, and put each print in a protective sleeve (I just cut pages out of an old photo album to get my sleeves).
  • Then I put the pics and the loose beads on the shelf. I tied the end of the string to one of the blocks to make sure the beads don't fall off. Notice that all the patterns end with the same bead. Perhaps a more advanced version of this could involve the child tying the string to the last bead.
  • Big Brother did a great job replicating the patterns! He enjoyed checking the picture to make sure his string of beads was in the correct order.
  • I love that I was able to bring new life to an old toy with minimal cost and effort! 

This post is being shared at Childhood 101’s We Play, where the idea that play is the “work” of children and helps them to learn and make sense of the world they live in is celebrated each week.


    1. this is awesome! and a perfect inspiration for me, as replicating patterns is one of my sons OT goals. we have some M & D beads and string too. can't wait to do this = ) thanks for sharing!

    2. I'm so glad it was helpful!! The simple ideas are always the best, aren't they?

      I've thought of lots of other ways I can apply this same technique of taking pictures and having the child replicate the pattern - legos, magnet play sets, etc.

      Fun stuff!

    3. I love that you photographed and printed out the patterns, a simple but so clever idea.

      Thank you for linking up to We Play and you kind words about it :)

    4. Looks like they had a fun time doing patterns.Nice post:)

    5. I do this w/ colored blocks. Also, I used to use pipe cleaners instead of strings w/ beads to help the kids get them on more easily before they mastered string.

    6. Christie - Thanks! Simple is always best in my book!

      Colleen - They did have fun (and so did I)! Thanks!

      Martianne - Great idea about the pipe cleaners. I actually bought some pipe cleaners as you suggested, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet. Thanks!