You’ve probably figured out by now that I’m all about inexpensive and simple activities for my boys that combine learning and fun, and pipe cleaners are a frequent favorite with us. You can get tons of them from the dollar store in various colors to provide hours of fun doing all kinds of activities.
This particular activity doesn’t even need any extra materials, just pipe cleaners. I pulled out about 5 pipe cleaners in various colors and then cut them into smaller lengths of different sizes. So we had lots of little pieces in each color, some longer than others, that we could match up and make things with. Then I just tossed them on the floor, and we got started.
At first, I showed Donovan how we could put the different pieces together to make letters and shapes. Once he had the idea, he started making things on his own. It’s a great sensory way to familiarize preschoolers with how shapes and letters fit together. He has to carefully line up the ends of the pipe cleaners using his fine motor skills to make the right shape. It’s also a great way to practice sorting and counting. After we’d manipulated the pipe cleaners for a while, we sorted them into piles of different colors and counted how many of each color we had. Depending on your child’s age and skill level, you could also practice patterns, addition and subtraction, big vs. small, and any other preschool skills you can think of…all with pipe cleaners!