Cardboard Beads Threading Activity for Toddlers

Set up a threading activity for toddlers using DIY cardboard tube beads and pipe cleaners, for fine motor   and mathematical skills, and plenty of playful fun!

Toddler threading beads fine motor activity

When we finished playing with the Colour Sorting Pom Pom Drop game that we made recently, I thought we could re-use the rainbow painted cardboard tubes for another activity.  DIY cardboard threading beads

I cut them into similar length pieces and there turned out to be quite a lot, which will be great for more games to come too!

Toddler threading activity

I twisted together the ends of 4 pipe cleaners to turn them into one, extended piece, making sure to tuck in the sharper edges.  I made a circular loop at one end to stop them falling off the end and then she had a go at threading the cardboard “beads” onto it.

Toddler threading activity with giant cardboard beads

She was able to thread them on, pushing them along as she did so. First she dragged her creation around the room as a “snake”, laughing and talking to it, and then she wanted it around her neck to be a necklace, so we twisted the ends loosely and she wore it to show her sisters very proudly!Toddler threading activity with cardboard tube beads

Check out the rest of our simple Toddler Play series here, with lots of easy ideas for engaging play and learning together!

A series of toddler play activities from The Imagination Tree

Check out our collection of Fine Motor Skills activities for Babies and Toddlers here

Fine motor skills activities for babies

And over 40 Fine Motor Skills activities for 2 years + here


What they are learning as they play:

physical: fine motor skills, threading, pincer grasp

personal, social, emotional: concentration, completing a task

maths: counting, sorting, naming and distinguishing colours

Bean: 2.2






  1. says

    So fabulous. I have used various sizes of cardboard tubes to create towers and chutes with kids before but I love that these are colored and threading is such a great skill to practice! Brilliant way to reuse what you’ve already created!