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Pony Beads and Pipe Cleaners

Sweet Pea is 32 months old.

From: I read about this great idea for a Salt Shaker Scuplture at the very informative My Montessori Journey.


  • Pony beads contained in a bowl or basket.
  • 5 or 6 pipe cleaners.
  • An empty spice jar or salt shaker.
  • Tray (optional, but useful to contain the pony beads your tot is likely to spill over and over again).


  • Put the pipe cleaners through the holes in the top of the shaker jar lid.
  • Present the spice jar and pony beads to your tot.
  • Pick up a bead, put it on a pipe cleaner, and carefully push the bead all the way down to the shaker lid of the spice jar.
  • Let your tot try.

Observations: This was a really fun activity forSweet Pea.  She had to concentrate really hard to get the pony beads onto the pipe cleaners, so I think it was exactly the right challenge for her.

She decided to put the pony  beads only on the correspondingly colored pipe cleaner.  I didn’t tell her to do it this way, and couldn’t get her to deviate from her self-imposed restriction.

She tried to use tongs to put the beads on the pipe cleaners, but as you might imagine, this didn’t work very well.   She has also had fun pushing the pipe cleaners into the basket and “fishing” for beads.

Notes from the Trenches:

The pony beads are a choking hazard and the pipe cleaners could poke an eye out.

Sweet Pea also liked pouring the beads between two baskets, which was sort of a mess.

Rating: 3 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Independent)

9 comments to Pony Beads and Pipe Cleaners

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