You'll often find beads, or buttons of various sizes set up in our classroom, along with shoe laces. This is an activity set up for multiple reasons. It helps children's vision focus on close hand/eye coordination when it comes to threading the beads onto the shoe laces. It's also an activity that helps to refine fine motor skills and the ideal pincer grip that children need to develop for easy pen and pencil gripping. From a mathematical viewpoint, the accompanying cards are for following pre-defined patterns, with shape and colour recognition. When children become proficient at this activity, we often find them extending themselves by creating new patterns that they then duplicate.