Bracelet Bead Store

My preschoolers never get tired of making pipe cleaner bracelets.  They love making these bracelets for their friends, family members and even teachers!  So I decided to change it up one day and make it into a learning activity.


  • Variety of beads
  • Plastic coin money
  • Price tags
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Bowls or containers for beads
  • Pen (to write prices)


The children helped me separate the different type of beads we had and then placed them into different bowls (learning classification). I then added a price to each of the different beads.  For blog purposes however I re-did this activity at home with my daughter.  Here is our set-up:

I then gave the children some plastic play money.  We only used pennies, nickels and dimes because they were still learning what the value of each coin is and I didn’t want to make the game too complicated.  I wanted it to be fun!  (I did this with the older 4 year olds who were about to turn 5).  For younger preschool children I would only use pennies.

First the children selected a pipe cleaner for their bracelet.  Then they would use their coins to purchase the beads and create their bracelets.

Just as a side note…I did not give the children a specific amount of money beforehand.  If they ran out of coins, I would then give them more.  I wanted it to be about the process of buying beads and understanding coin values…I didn’t want them to feel limited and pressured to buy cheaper beads because they were going to run out of coins.  I didn’t want there to be any tears because another child was able to purchase more beads than them.  I think because of this, the activity was a huge success! The only unfortunate part of this activity was having to stop the activity because it was time for snack and getting ready to go home.

Here are the pictures of my daughter and I doing this activity at home.
Choosing which coins are needed to buy a specific bead…

Paying the store owner the price of the bead.

Taking the bead out of the bowl.

And adding the bead to her pipe cleaner (building fine motor skills).

The finished bracelet!