Pipe Cleaner Counters

When children are first learning how to count, it can be difficult for them to visualise what numbers actually mean. Pipe cleaner counters are easy to make and show each number by the amount of beads that have been threaded on – children will have hours of fun playing with them and learning at the same time!

Pipe Cleaner Counters

Skill Level


Time to Make

30 minutes

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. Turn self-adhesive foam sheet over so the paper backing is facing upwards. Draw two identical circles onto it (we drew around the inside of a roll of Glue Dots) and cut out.
  2. Tie a knot in the end of a pipe cleaner. Feed on a single bead. Trim about a third off the top of the pipe cleaner, then sandwich the top end between your two foam circles, ensuring they match up.
  3. Next, using a fibre tip pen, draw as many numbers as desired on self-adhesive foam sheets – you can choose different colours. Then, cut out around the borders using scissors.
  4. Choose your self-adhesive number and fix to the centre of the foam circle. Trim the excess from beneath the knot at the bottom of the pipe cleaner. Repeat until you have as many as desired, ensuring the number of beads on each piper cleaner matches up with the number stuck on the foam circle.

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