On the go or at home, this DIY abacus for kids is a fun hands-on way to practice counting and pattern work. Make them with beads, or try pasta! You can use this project as a tool for your child during their online preschool lessons!

Make your abacus before signing up with Playgarden Prep Online, and your child can count along with Miss Shyla during her Letter A Arithmetic Lesson.


  • 100 plastic pony beads—Colors of your choice. We used the colors of the rainbow not just for aesthetic reasons, but also to count with clarity
  • Pipe cleaners—Your choice of colors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Utility knife (Scissors work just as fine, but I’ve found the knife is a faster cut with straighter lines)
  • Cardboard

How To

Abacus - DIY - Playgarden Online
Abacus - DIY - Playgarden Online
Abacus - DIY - Playgarden Online


Creativity Creativity
Listening & Observation Listening & Observation

Tips with Miss Charlotte

Miss Charlotte - Teacher Playgarden

Another tip—Pipe cleaners are not the easiest material to hot glue, as they often don’t stay where you place them. I used a butter knife to hold the pipe cleaner in place for a few seconds right after gluing. This way you don’t burn your fingers on the glue and if glue gets on the knife, wait for it to harden and peel it right off!

Online preschool is so much more engaging with hands-on tools like this one. Your child can learn every step of the way, from making the abacus, to using it to count along with their favorite Playgarden Prep teachers during math lessons.

Enjoyed these DIY projects?

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