Prep: 5 Minutes / Activity Time: 5 Minutes

Your baby is becoming more skillful in using her hands, and many infant toys -- like pegboards and puzzles -- foster the fine motor development that will help with beginning writing and other pre-reading skills later on. Try adding some pop beads to her toy collection. As she learns to pull the beads apart and push them back together, she’ll build her strength. For added fun, customize the beads with the letters in your child’s name.

  • infant toy pop beads
  • black permanent marker


Step 1: Print the letters of your child’s first name on some of the pop beads. 


Step 1: Start by giving your child practice pulling apart, the pop beads without focusing on the letters. Pushing the beads together is a bit more difficult, and may require more practice. 

Step 2: After she has had success and is skillful at pulling the beads apart and putting them together, introduce the beads with letters.

Step 3: Talk about the letters on the beads. For example:

Look, Kiara!  This bead has a K on it.  K for Kiara! 

You put 2 beads together. This one says K and this one says A. 

Step 4: Continue as long as she is engaged and interested. As this age, we can expose children to alphabet letters in a fun and engaging way, but it will still be a long time before they will learn to name letters. Keep it lively and fun, and follow your child’s lead.