An abacus may seem like an outdated manipulative, but the truth is it is still a great way to teach children to count. An abacus is perfect for beginning counters, and is a fun hands on way to teach children addition and subtraction as well. Making your own abacus number counter can be simple and done with just a few Dollar Store supplies.
Look below at how to make your own abacus craft for kids, and pretty soon you will be helping your child count, add, subtract, and more.
Homemade Number Counter to Make with the Kids
Here is what you will need:
You can choose pipe cleaners and beads in your choice of colors. Feel free to get as creative and colorful as you wish when making your abacus!
Number Counter Directions
Decide how wide you want your abacus to be. Cut your pipe cleaners to size based on your needs.
You can now start gluing the pipe cleaners to the wood craft sticks. Place the craft sticks vertically and about 6 inches (or the length of your choosing) apart.
Add a dab of glue to the end of each pipe cleaner and press to the wood craft stick so that just one end is attached. Repeat, continuing to add pipe cleaners as shown working from the top on down.
You can now start stringing your beads. Add beads at the open end of the pipe cleaners. You can add any combination of beads you wish. We gradually added more as we worked our way down.
Secure the opposite end of the pipe cleaners to the wood craft stick. Attach with hot glue as you did before.
Once the glue is dry (at both ends) you can start using your homemade number counter. Slide the beads to use them as counters, adding beads or subtracting them as you wish. Kids will enjoy manipulating the beads as they count, and using them as counting markers.
Head to the Dollar Store and give this easy abacus a try!