Welcome back to S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camp! Last week we made thaumatropes to explore the sense of sight. This week’s theme is the sense of touch. Since my kids are rather adverse to some textures I decide to challenge their little fingers in a different way with an old fashioned string and bead puzzle. Have you ever done one of these? They are not as simple as they look! Kids have to focus on their sense of touch to guide and manipulate the bead and not let the strings get tangled up. (And I won’t have to convince the boys to touch something goopy, slimy, sticky and sloppy.)
You may remember these types of sting and ring or bead puzzles from your own childhood. They have been around since the beginning of time and while there are many puzzles with very, very complicated solutions, this is a good starter puzzle for younger kids and you can offer a couple of hints to help them along. (More on that in a minute.)
My 6 year old was eager to try it but my older so was super grumpy and gave up right away. He came back later when I
bribed convinced him to help me with the video.
First, how to make the string and bead puzzle:
You will need:
- Cardboard. Something a bit sturdier than a cereal box is perfect.
- Hole punch. (Optional, a scissors will also work)
- Bead or ring.
Cut the cardboard into a narrow strip about 9 x 2 inches.
Punch three holes equidistant apart.
Cut a 30 inch long piece of string.
Fold the string in half and push loop through the center hole.
Slip ends though the loop and pull closed.
Thread bead on one end of the string.
Thread ends of string though end holes and knot on back of cardboard.
Move bead from one side of the string to the other.
3 hints to give your kids: (ONLY after they’ve given it the ol’ college try)
- Pull the loop forward.
- Pull all four strands forward through the center hole.
- Follow the string with the bead.
I have become totally addicted to making videos! This short video shows you how to make the puzzle, and then at the end I show you the puzzle solution. (You can only watch the solution after you have tried to solve it on your own. Sorry, that’s the rule.)
Or, try out one of these other old fashioned games:
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Challenge your kids’ sense of touch with these fab projects from the S.T.E.A.M. dream team:
Travel Geoboard | Left Brain Craft Brain
Gelatin Art | Babble Dabble Do
Slug Races | Lemon Lime Adventures
Magnetic Sculptures | Pink Stripey Socks
Inventing with Pool Noodles | One Time Through
Engineering Challenges | Frugal Fun For Boys
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