SparKits On Demand

Cardboard Beading

Companion Page

This activity requires use of sharp scissors and should only be done by an adult.

Age Group

Toddlers - 1-3 years

Toddlers (15 months -3 years)

Skill Builders


Science Concepts


Math Concepts

Skill Builder - Small Muscle Development

Small Motor Skills

What You'll Need

Cardboard rolls or pool noodles
Thick string or pipe cleaners
Optional: Colored paper or paint

Let's Begin

  1. Begin by cutting your cardboard rolls into a circular bead shape, about an inch thick.
  2. You can then have your child decorate the beads by coloring with markers, painting them, or even wrapping them with colored paper.
  3. Use about 1/2 a yard length of string. Using one of your beads tie it to one end of your string, as this will help with keeping the beads from falling off.
  4. At first, you may need to help him hold the string while he adds the beads. As he develops his small muscles and eye-hand coordination, your help will be needed less.

Get their brains going, talk to your child, for example…
Talk about if it is easy or hard to put the bead on the string or ask questions like, “How many beads can you pick up?” or “What other items can we bead?”

CDC Milestones

Curious about your child’s development? All children develop at their own pace, but the Center for Disease Control’s developmental milestones can be a helpful guideline. Here are a few examples:

  • Shows fear in some situations
  • Puts things in a container, takes things out of a container
  • Looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named
  • Explores alone but with parent close by
  • Can follow 1-step verbal commands without any gestures
  • Drinks from a cup
  • Shows more and more independence
  • Knows names of familiar people and body parts
  • Might use one hand more than the other

Additional family resources

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Early Learning with ECA

Learning begins at birth. ECA provides foundations for learning, starting with age-appropriate experiences for infants, toddlers, and preschool. ECA also offers a range of family support programs that encourage family involvement with children’s learning.

Free tips and learning games

This free texting service provides quality, developmental information for parents and caregivers of children prenatal to age eight right to your phone. Messages include research-based, age-appropriate content from national experts, along with local updates of events and resources.

Free resources at your library

Your local library has many resources for you as a parent as well as for your child. We encourage you to take advantage of all they have to offer. For an online list of libraries by city, go to

Find help in your community

Dial 2-1-1 or 1-877-502-0700 for free, confidential, 24-hour information and referral assistance. Trained 2-1-1 Specialists can connect you to local organizations that can assist you with food, housing, health care, transportation, education and more.

Use of the materials described above are done so at your own risk and any children interacting with these materials should do so only under close adult supervision.

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