I beaded the pipe cleaner with about 5 beads for him as he watched. I then handed it over to him to check out. He studied the pipe cleaner and the beads and then picked up some beads from the bowl. He tried to take a handful and just put them up to the pipe cleaner to get them on. I had another pipe cleaner I picked up to use to show him how to get the beads on. He was very studious as he watched but did not have the coordination.
Next, I decided to change my plan so he did not get frustrated. I took my pipe cleaner and stuck it into the bowl of beads. It was sturdy enough to pick up one or two beads just from being pushed into the bowl. He saw my exaggerated success so, of course, tried himself. Using this method he was able to be successful. I allowed him to do this for a short time.
Finally, I added about 10 beads to my pipe cleaner and handed it over to Jake. He looked at the beads again and started taking them off one by one. I feel that this is a skill that still strengthens motor skills and hand-eye coordination. He let the beads fall to the ground when he took them off so we will continue working on this skill and work to take them off and put them into the bowl.
Before we were finished Jake did continue to try to get one bead on at a time with his fingers. He displayed that he really wanted to be able to do this! This shows me that this skill WILL be accomplished before long. We will continue to practice this month and I will keep this activity as part of our Structured Play time next month as well!
Even though the beads were not ideal, the activity was worthwhile. By being flexible and modifying the activity Jake did not become frustrated with the skill he could not master. This was an excellent learning experience for both of us! :)