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Hungry Caterpillar Threading

The Hungry Caterpillar – Threading Large Beads

Children enjoy threading and making necklaces, so it is a fun way to help them develop their fine motor skills (essential for writing). I love the fruit and vegetable beads! They go well with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and they can be used for counting and for making repeating patterns. Of course they can just be used as fruit and vegetables in play kitchens and are great for imaginative play.

What you need

Questions to ask

  • How many beads are on your string?
  • Can you make a repeating pattern?

What they get from it

Threading is an excellent way to develop children’s fine motor skills. It provides children the opportunity to practice grasping skills, four finger grip, pincer grip and in-hand manipulation skills, all needed for children to be able to hold a pencil correctly and to write. Larger beads help children to develop a four finger grasp, whilst small beads help them practice a pincer grip. Threading also gives children the opportunity to make repeating patterns and count objects with one to one correspondence (counting each object once and only once- ex. knowing the value of 4 as 4 objects in a set).

Take it further

Once children have mastered the 4 finger grip and the ability to string large beads on string, you can have them string smaller beads. Have them try first on ‘ridged string’ like a pipe cleaner and eventually on ‘normal’ bendy string.

Is this activity too hard? You could make it easier for children by having them start stringing the large beads on a ‘rigid string’ like pipe cleaner. Once they have the strength to do this you can move them back to normal bendy string.

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