This activity took a little preparation on my part. I found some masking tape and made little flags on the pipe cleaners and numbered them 1-10. I gave the girls some beads and showed them how they could look at the number and place the correct amount of beads on the pipe cleaner. We did a few together and counted to check our work.
I have to admit, I was curious about how well the girls would do with this. They are great at number recognition and counting, but this was a lot of both. I also know that B likes to do her own thing, and for her being able to do something and actually doing it are two different things. B also can struggle with fine motor work so I wondered if she would get frustrated with this activity. But she was very patient and determined.
B checking her work.
Both girls tired out after doing 8 out of 10 pipe cleaners, which is honestly more than I thought they would do. B had her moments of independence. While working on her number 10, she put 10 beads on and said "I'm not done!" She then added 3 more which really bothered A since it was no longer correct, "Hey! You can't have 13 on there! It says 10!" B's response "NO!" A was not taking it well, so I must confess when B wasn't looking, I took the 3 beads off and let A count them and she was happy when she saw there were 10 and B was none the wiser. Yeah, I know I should have just let A deal, but you don't come here for parenting tips do you? If I had that stuff figured out I'd have a parenting tip blog and a not a kids activity blog.
The twins exhibited some great mathematical thinking during this activity. A was working on her # 9 pipe cleaner and she wanted to see if she had enough beads on it. She counted 6 beads and said, "I just need 3 more." I was shocked that she just seemed to know that.
A proudly shows off her finished work.
Some final notes: You can also use this with the beads matching the color of the pipe cleaners for added color practice. And fnally, the beads and pipe cleaners can be found at the dollar store and used for so many other things. Pick some up on your next trip!