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Stringing Straws & Buttons

Sweet Pea is 43 months old.

From: I am sure I’m not the first one to do this, but I don’t remember where I have seen it before.  It is an oldie, but goodie.


  • 4-5 Drinking straws. (We used clear ones because we had them on hand, but I think colored ones would work better.)
  • Plastic tipped beading laces. (We also found these at Micheal’s, but you could also use an old shoelace.)
  • Scissors.
  • Bowl.
  • Tray (Optional).
  • Buttons (Optional).


  • Cut the straws into approximately 1 inch pieces and place them in the bowl.
  • Tie a knot near one end on each of the laces so the straw pieces won’t slip off as your tot strings them.

  • Show your tot how to push the front of the lace through the center of a straw piece.

  • Let your tot try.

Observations: Sweet Pea completed 2 of the laces before she started to loose interest.

When she grew bored of stringing just the straws, I added some buttons to the mix.  Sweet Pea enjoyed the colorful buttons much more than the plain straws and begin talking to herself about how she was making “necklaces” for people.

This was a super fast activity to set up and I would recommend it for a variety of ages.  It is a  great fine motor control activity for younger tots and you could incorporate patterning work with an older tot.

Notes from the Trenches: The use of laces, straw pieces and buttons all require supervision.

I tried to let Sweet Pea cut the straws on her own, but her kid-safe scissors weren’t sharp enough and the straws just bent between the blades.  An older child might be able to do her own cutting though.

Rating: 4 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Independent, Frugal – if you just use shoe laces & straws)



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