Pipe Cleaner Corn
Ages 3 and older

Did you know there are over 240 varieties of corn? While we have all seen the plain yellow variety in the grocery store, corn actually comes in a wide range of colors. According to Cornell University, there are 16 different colors of corn kernels, including blue and purple. Each color has a wide range of shades, and many varieties of corn have a unique mixture of colors on each cob. We can recreate these colorful mixtures using beads and bright pony beads.

This is a great way to celebrate the autumn harvest and is also a great chance to practice those fine motor skills. By pinching beads, kids build up the muscles in their hands that are needed for essential school activities, like writing, typing and cutting with scissors. These muscles also help kids with life skills like tying shoes, using buttons, and zipping up jackets.

Best of all this activity uses pipe cleaners for beading, rather than string. This can help even young children work independently, since it is so much easier to thread beads on pipe cleaners than string.


  • 4 pipe cleaners
  • Pony beads


  1. Line up all 4 pipe cleaners and collect into a bundle
  2. Fold pipe cleaners in half
  3. Wrap the folds in the middle around each other, twisting folds around each other as needed. Separate pipe cleaners halves and fan the ends out. Your pipe cleaner should resemble a snowflake shape with 8 points.
  4. Start adding pony beads, working on one section at a time. Add as many as you want, but leave at least an inch at the end that is empty. As you finish a section, fold the end slightly so that beads cannot fall off
  5. When all the sections have the desired number of beads, gently move all the sections together
  6. Take one of the empty ends and wrap it around the other empty ends in order to keep the corn shape
  7. Adjust the beaded part as necessary

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