Way to Bead!

By: Amy Bumgarner, OTR/L

 Writing, coloring, and cutting activities all require well-developed fine motor skills.  So how can you help your child prepare?  Beading is ideal, strengthening the same three fingers needed for holding a pencil and scissors.  And from a kid perspective, beading is fun!

 The Fundanoodle I Can Bead, Lace, Rip, Trace! Multi-Activity Kit provides everything a young child will need to get beading.  For early success, allow your child to explore with the beads and consider the different stringing options.  Stringing beads on the pipe cleaner will be the easiest, followed by the string, and ultimately, yarn.  The pattern cards allow your child to practice visual motor skills and challenge little ones to copy stringing the beads in the correct order. (Forr beginners, you can separate out the needed beads.)  You can also try describing a pattern to see if your child can follow verbal directions to create the pattern.  For example, “blue square, red circle, green square.” 

Beading with yarn.

Checking the pattern!

As an occupational therapist, I appreciate that the simple – and fun — act of beading also encourages:

Muscle Development:

  • Manual dexterity
  • Motor skills
  • Bilateral integration as the child holds the string with hand and puts the bead on with the other
  • Improved pincer grasp as the child uses his or her thumb and first two fingers to hold the bead and the string
  • Fine motor skills

    Using both hands together.

Sensory Motor:

  • Heightened body perception and how the two sides of the body work together
  • Varied tactile experiences with different lacing materials

 Visual Motor:

  • Eye hand coordination
  • Visually guided movements
  • Visual perceptual skills

 Cognitive/Brain Builders:

  • Following a pattern and/or sequence
  • Focus and concentration
  • Language skills, through identifying shapes and colors
  • Color recognition
  • Self-esteem

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