Pool Noodle Beanstalks

This stringing activity involved stringing cut-up portions of a pool noodle onto a pipe cleaner that, when strung together, resembled Jack’s beanstalk.

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The pipe cleaner was stuck in flower foam, and students also included small branches and straws to complement the proportions within the pool noodle structure.

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Stringing (or beading) activities provide a host of developmental benefits for the preschool learner. The first of these includes grasping.

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Various sizes of items promote different grasps. Larger items often promote the “3-jaw chuck” grasp, similar to holding a large pencil or marker. This activity encouraged the use of this grasp.

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If you see here, Lucie is using this grasp to place her straw into the foam. She will then slide a pool noodle onto this implement to finish the beanstalk.

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Stringing activities also strengthen in-hand manipulation skills. Also, many components of making a beaded craft increase strength and coordination in the small hand and finger muscles.

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For example, picking a small item up, and then manipulating it in one’s hand until it is pinched between your thumb and finger, involves translation, shift and rotation movements of the small item within the hand.

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Lastly, this activity involved accessing your little one’s cognitive skills by asking a series of important questions, such as: What kind of stalk do I want to make? What pattern should I make? Where are all the materials needed to complete this beanstalk? By answering these questions, the child develops his/her planning and problem-solving skills.
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