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Pipe Cleaners

Do you call these fuzzy pieces of wire pipe cleaners or chenille stems? Either way, they are definitely a MOP MVP . Here are 5 of our favorite ways to use them:

1. Lacing/Jewelry. All you need is a bag of pony beads and a bag of chenille stems, both of which you can get at the Dollar Tree!

2. Make Letters/Shapes. Popsicle sticks work for this too but pipe cleaners are better since they allow you to make curves.

3. Build 3-D structures. The options here are endless . . . houses, monsters, cars, really anything! One of my go-tos is a rainbow. It checks a lot of boxes: fine motor, color identification, color order (ROY G BIV), shape identification (arch)

4. Braiding/Twisting. The wire center makes the pieces easy to manipulate and the variety of colors makes it easy to see the design.

5. Pick up sticks. Step up the fine motor component by using tweezers to pick up the pipe cleaners. Have more than one preschooler at home? Give them each 10 pipe cleaners and have them race to see who can use the tweezers to move their pile across a table first.

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