# Counting and Patterning with Play Dough, Spaghetti and Beads

Set up a fun playful maths activity using spaghetti stuck into play dough and a box of colourful threading beads! Fantastic for developing fine motor skills, practising counting, recognising numerals and making simple patterns in a hands-on, open-ended way.

Welcome to another week of Playful Maths, hosted here on The Imagination Tree and with Learn with Play at Home. This series focuses on fun, active ways to learn about maths concepts with young children, using everyday materials from around the home. This week we have been looking at great ways to use play dough as a tool for learning maths!

We talked about making repeat patterns with two then three colours, then started some with various numbers of repetition, e.g. 1 red, 2 purple, 1 blue etc. After copying and completing a few, C was able to make up some of her own and encouraged Pop to try and copy them.

Extend this activity:

Provide simple pattern cards to copy by drawing repeating colours on cards

Ask children to make their own patterns then draw them onto card for others to use

Using two spaghetti skewers, add together small amounts on each one to find a total number

Put 20 beads onto a skewer and then roll a dice to find a small amount to subtract, counting them off one by one to find the new total

What they are learning as they play:

Maths: counting using 1:1 correspondence, recognising numerals up to 20, counting up to 20 objects reliably, matching and creating simple repeat patterns

Cakie: 4.7

Pop: 3.1

Bean: 14 mos

Search the Playful Maths ideas collection here!

Check out the fabulous flower play dough learning mats from Learn with Play at Home!

Follow our Playful Maths series on our Pinterest board with the same name!

### 9 comments to Counting and Patterning with Play Dough, Spaghetti and Beads

• Children will really love this activity. What fun! I am pinning this post.

• I really love this and will definitely try out. Am pinning

• RaisingFlorida

Hi Anna,
I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now and I enjoy all your posts. I wanted to tell you that I especially appreciate the playful math ideas you share. My son is the same age as your oldest and its been fun following along with you! Your blog has been a wonderful resource!
I’m looking forward to future posts in the playful math series!
- Veronica

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• [...] I was actually planning to do with Allie (too bad she thought of it first!). She had her wee ones string beads on spaghetti to make patterns. Allie would totally love [...]

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