Family & Days Out Kids Activities

Pipe Cleaner Learning for Pre-Schoolers

Last week I stumbled upon the idea of using pipe cleaners for a variety of pre-school learning activities totally by accident, and then I was so pleased with how it worked out that I thought I’d best share!

Pipe Cleaner Learning for Pre-Schoolers

Little Man and I are currently having fun learning about shapes, so we were decorating a card that he’d made for his sister with little shaped gemstones and in doing so had the craft supplies scattered all over the table. Amongst them were some brightly coloured pipe cleaners so we decided to use them to make some shapes, too…

Pipe cleaner shapes

As you’d expect, pipe cleaners are brilliant at bending to the shapes you need and also tie together really easily. We also talked about the number of pipe cleaners needed to complete the various shapes as a way of talking about numbers of sides. At 3, I saw this go straight over his head, but for slightly older kids, I can see that working well.

So we then went onto letters as he had just written his name in the card for Boo, so it made sense to spell names and then other letters this way…

Pipe cleaner letters

Numbers came next…

Pipe cleaner numbers

And then I watched as his imagination took hold and his letter ‘x’ became a spider and scuttled around the table…

Pipe cleaner spider

It’s such a simple activity with no set-up required as we made the shapes together, with me talking him through what I was doing each time. Pipe cleaners are nice and easy to get hold of and inexpensive, too. Very versatile!

Little Man really enjoyed doing this. I think any way of forming and creating these new shapes and figures that he’s starting to recognise that is a little bit different will appeal. It’s colourful, non-messy, creative and without limits.

What do you think?


  1. Let kids be kids March 1, 2016
    • Jocelyn March 1, 2016
  2. Hayley (@hayleyfromhome) March 2, 2016
    • Jocelyn March 2, 2016
    • Jocelyn March 3, 2016

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