Monday, April 2, 2012

Bead Games (A to Z Challenge)

Beads are a great way to practice colors, matching, addition, site words, phonics, sorting, and motor skills. And, for the price of 2 tubs of beads (One Tub of Letter Beads) and (One Tub Of Snap Together Shape Beads) you'll have many weeks worth of activities! Here's our top 5 favorite bead activities to get you started.

1. Sorting Papers
Here's a great way to sort by color. Which teaches 2 skills at the same time. Sorting, and color recognition. Simply draw or print areas of color to sort onto, and then allow each child to grab a handful of beads. Help them sort them out to the appropriate colors. Mix It Up: Use Jelly Beans which can come in mixed colors and have the kids determine which color is prominent. 

2. Adding Beads
Give each child a sheet of addition or subtraction problems (this is a pre-addition practice) and allow them to use beads to count out the answers by putting them in groups to "add". Example 4 plus 5 equals 9. Put 4 beads in one group and 5 in another group. Don't allow the kids to mix the groups but have them count out the beads. How many are there total? Mix It Up: Put the beads in Easter Eggs and ask them how many total Easter surprises they go? 

3. Counting Practice
Give each child a random amount of beads in various colors. Have them sort the beads by color on the color pyramid (created by using charts in word) and then have them write the number of beads in each color on the line. So if there are 5 red beads on the red line, they'd write 5 before returning the beads to the bucket. Mix It Up: Have each child finish writing their numbers down, and then select a second random handful of beads. Sort those out and write the second number down. Add the two numbers together. How many total read beads did yo pull out of the bead bucket? 

4. Stringing Words
Here's a way fun way to practice motor skills and site words! Write down site words your children are working on or select a few from the 101 first site words list here. Then using the letter beads have the kids practice stringing the site words. Make sure they string each bead in it's correct order to make the word. This might take some practice but it's worth it! Seeing words "off paper" can really help with memorization, and the bring colors and fun activity make this less stressful than flashcards. MIX IT UP: Have your kids string words to treats they want, or activities they want to do. Advanced project but way fun!

5. Phonics Fun 
Write down words and have the children find the matching letter beads. Then sound out the words together. If they get the word correct they get to string it! what a great reward... more learning! Make it fun and kids will learn that stinging beads is a wonderful reward for doing a great job at homework. No candy needed here!

I hope you found these ideas helpful! Please take a moment to 'like' Pirate School on Facebook. Also come back tomorrow for C is for color card games. 


  1. New homeschooling Ideas are always welcome! Thanks for sharing this
    Here from the A to Z

  2. Hello, I am here come A to Z. :) This is my first year doing something like this. I also homeschool my four kids. I love the idea of stringing words with beads! Nice to meet you!