Bead lacing is a wonderful exercise to increase fine motor skills in toddlers. This is a very versatile toy. It can be used to teach a lot of math concepts. We are only limited by our creativity.
These bead toys are available in toy shops in India for around 150-300 rupees and can be bought from www.amazon.com too.
The benefits are not limited only to fine motor skills, they can be used to teach kids
The beads come in various colors and this is a nice opportunity to teach children to differentiate between the various colors
Patterns and sequencing
Beads can be arranged in a pattern and kids can be asked “What comes next?”.
Terms like ‘more vs less’, ‘tall vs short’ etc.
A few tips and tricks
1. It natural that your toddler might get frustrated initially till he gets the hang of it.
2. Be patient and encourage him. Show him how the beads are laced a few times.
3. It the string is not stiff enough, give them a new shoe lace. Shoe laces have aglets at their tips which will help with the lacing.
4. Rather than holding the string at the very end, it is easier to lace if the string is held about 2 inches away from the end.
A few safety considerations while choosing this toy
1. Make sure the beads do not have sharp edges that could cut tiny fingers
2. Make sure the beads are big enough that they wouldn’t fit into your little one’s mouth.
It is a good idea to tie the first bead to one end of the string like so. It will prevent slipping away when beads are being added on the other side. There is nothing as scary as an angry toddler who has just realized that her beads are on the floor and not on the string. Now we don’t want that do we?