Posted in math, Spirited Blessings

Playing and Learning With Straws

One of my favorite activities this week was one I chose to do with Raspberry Bug.

First, we started with brightly colored straws and a pair of safety scissors. We had fun as I guided her hand (she’s only two and a half and can’t do it on her own yet) and cut the straws into smaller pieces. It was funny; she giggled as the pieces hit the small bowl. At first, they were all closed up on the ends from being pinched by scissors. As they opened up, they “popped” and some flew rather far. An unexpected surprise, even for me!

Next, I pulled a shoestring out and showed her how to lace the “beads” we made on to make jewelry.

She had a great deal of focus and concentration on this one. I think it’s the first time she’s succeeded at being able to fit beads on all by herself. She put quite a few on before I could tell she was getting a bit restless with this activity.

Time to move to the next thing!

I added matching dot stickers to a paper plate (I used a sharpie for the black dot) and added a very small measuring spoon to the bowl.

I then let her go at the sorting. From the get-go, she was just thrilled to be spooning the straws, and I had to focus her attention on the colors frequently. I just kept asking things like,” What color is the dot?”, and “Does that bead match?” She did this activity the longest. That probably had to do with the fact that I used dot stickers. She is absolutely in love with them!

As I said before, Red is only two years old, and we were mainly focusing on color recognition and on on fine motor development, but this activity could be turned into a large selection of games and a wide variety of expertise. Here are some more ideas:

  • Cut the straws into different sizes and use for size sequencing and sorting
  • You could use them to count or even as adding, subtracting, or greater than and less than visuals.
  • Use them as an “on a dime” version of counting blocks by cutting them into three different sizes. This will allow them to be used for the ones, tens, and fives place.
  • Use the different colors or sizes for practicing patterns.
  • Get creative, and see what kind of pictures you can make.

Have you used straws for learning? If you have another idea, I’d love to read about it!

This post has been featured on:

No Time For Flashcards

And on:

Alternate Tutelage



My family and I have made a decision to dedicate our lives to serve the Lord. We've started a seaborne, nonprofit Mission organization that is aimed at bringing the gospel and disaster relief to otherwise hard to reach areas. Follow us as we grow together in Him through our average day to day experiences. See how we make a family of five work aboard a small sailboat, follow us in the travels, projects, and experiences of day to day life as we share our calling with those we love.

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