Early Lit Bits: Learning with Crafts — Alphabet Bead Threading Game

Alphabet Bead Threading GamePlay-Grow-Read

Children today spend a lot of time working with keyboards and touch screens. Writing the old-fashioned way, however, is still an important skill for children to master. Reading and writing go together and the process of writing is closely linked to the process of learning to read. In order to write, children must develop the muscles used to grasp a pencil. Here is an easy activity that can be made at home to help encourage children to learn the alphabet and develop fine motor skills at the same time.


  • Toothpicks (or pencils)
  • block of hard Styrofoam (old packaging works well)
  • alphabet beads (or large wooden beads if using pencils for toothpicks)
  • Paper
  • Markers/colored pencils


  1. Cut the paper into small squares and write a letter of the alphabet (upper or lower case) on each piece of paper.
  2. Attach each paper letter to the Styrofoam block by tacking it to the foam with a toothpick. Make sure that the letter is still visible.
  3. Have children “thread” the alphabet beads onto the toothpicks with the corresponding letter.
  4. Consider using pencils and large wooden beads in the place of toothpicks and small beads when working with very small children as small beads can pose a choking hazard.

–Anjie G. at KDL’s Walker branch


This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.


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Written by Ali


Ali is a Collection Development Paraprofessional at KDL. She loves cookbooks and memoirs.

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