A basket full of beads with a playing dice and a bracelet in front.

Roll & Bead: Make Jewelry With Math

This multiplayer game is super simple and develops counting, subitizing (recognizing amounts without counting), as well as fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills. Children will get to make a cool bracelet too!


  • Pipe cleaners
  • Plastic pony beads
  • A die


  1. Pour the beads onto a tray or a shallow dish.
  2. Prep the pipe cleaners by making a loop on the end so the beads stay on.
  3. The youngest player goes first. Have them roll the die and place that number of beads on the pipe cleaner. For older kids, use two dice and have them add or subtract or make a pattern with the different colors.
  4. Don’t forget to have the kids count the beads as they go to see who is winning. Who has the most beads? Who has the most beads of the same color? There is a ton of math in this simple activity!
  5. When done, thread the ends of the pipe cleaners through the loop twists to secure. Then tuck the ends into the beads. Encourage the kids to wear their bracelets with pride!

Allison McDonald is a former preschool teacher and director, who started her popular early education blog No Time For Flash Cards as a way to keep one foot in her professional life while knee-deep in motherhood. Learning should be fun and it's Allison's goal to help all parents be able to add a little fun and learning to their child's day. Allison lives in a yellow farmhouse outside of Seattle with her two kids and husband.

Iowa PBS STEAM Activities and Crafts provided by PBS KIDS Parents.