Threading beads, shells or other items onto string or wool refines eye-hand coordination and supports finger dexterity. Tamariki must concentrate and practice patience, persevering to achieve success. Whānau encouragement supports language use.

Why do it?

  • Threading is an activity which helps further develop a child’s fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
  • It’s a complex task because it requires them to multi task doing different actions with each hand. While one hand holds the string, the other hand picks the things to be threaded. Usually the dominant hand will be used to place the objects on to the thread.
  • It tends to be a quiet activity which needs concentration, perseverance and patience.

How to do it

You need:

  • items with holes in them for threading. They may naturally have holes, such as shells, large beads or pieces of drinking straws. Alternatively you can drill holes in things like small bits of wood, plastic bottle tops or shapes cut from ice cream containers.
  • something to thread on to, for example a long shoelace, length of wool or string with something to stop things falling off at the other end. A large knot or a button secured to the end will work.
  • wrap some tape around the threading end to make it easier for them to poke it through the hole.

Offer some help to get them started if needed because it’s quite a complex task.

  • use verbal prompts to guide them. ‘Hold the string in this hand, pick up a shell in your other hand, now push the string through the hole. Now change hands and pull the end of the string through. Can you slide them right down to the end?’ Or, in short, ‘push through, grab and pull down’.