Math with a Rainbow Abacus

Help kids practicing counting by 1s or by 10s with this fun spring, rainbow math activity for Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade.
Math with a Rainbow Abacus - a fun counting by 1s and 10s activity for Toddler Preschool Kindergarten and 1st Grade

Spring is just around the corner! Finally!!!

That means we get more sunshine, trips to the park, and rainbow crafts and kids activities.

This is a really fun activity for kids from Toddler and Preschool to Kindergarten and 1st grade. Kids can practice counting to 10, from 1-70, and by 10s. Plus it makes such a pretty spring craft too!

How to Build your Rainbow Abacus

Cut Pipe Cleaners

You need one of each of the following pipe cleaners in order and cut them at an angle so that the purple pipe cleaner is cut the shortest and the red pipe cleaner is not cut at all.
  • purple
  • lilac or dark blue
  • light blue
  • green
  • yellow
  • orange
  • red
add rainbow colored pony beads

Now put 10 coordinating color beads on each of the pipe cleaners.

keep yoru pony bead threaded pipe cleaners in playdough to hold them up

 Now put a blob of playdough on a surface (we used these art trays) and stick one side of the pipe cleaner in the dough in order. Now put another blob of playdough on the surface and stick the other end of the pipe cleaners in the other side.

You may need to trim additional pipe cleaners to get them to lay correctly.

Rainbow Abacus Math Activity

Spring math counting activity for preschool kindergarten 1st grade

Younger children can just count each color to reinforce counting from 1-20.

Kindergarten and 1st grade kids can count all the way from 1-70 by ones and then count by 10s.
This is such a fun way for kids to practice counting by 10s.

HINT: With other children use this to help them conceptualize skip counting. Put 2 beads on each color. Then you can count by 2's. Next put 5 beads on each color and skip count by 5's. This is such a great visual for kids to understand skip counting!

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Beth Gorden
Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is a homeschooling mother of six who strives to enjoy every moment with her kids through hands-on learning, crafts, new experiences, and lots of playing together. Beth is also the creator and author of 123 Homeschool 4 Me where she shares 1000+ free printables, creative homeschool lessons, crafts, and other fun ideas to help preschool and homeschooling families have fun while learning and exploring together.