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Activities with Pipe Cleaners

Activities with Pipe Cleaners

Pipe cleaners are something we always have on hand. They are so much fun to create and learn with. Here’s a collection of crafts and activities with pipe cleaners for kids of all ages.

You can find pipe cleaners at a craft store or dollar store (sometimes called chenille stems). They are one of the basic supplies that I always have on hand because there are so many ways to use them. I know you will love these fun ideas!

Pipe Cleaner Activities for Young Children

Pipe cleaners are an easy way for younger children to build fine motor skills and strengthen hand-eye coordination. They are the perfect option to use instead of string or yarn when kids are first beginning to string beads.


activities with pipe cleaners

Heart Art

This is a great craft for Valentine’s Day, but can be done any time of year. This is one of the easy pipe cleaner crafts that your toddler or preschooler can do on their own and be proud of how it turned out. Remember it is about the process, not the final product. Turn pipe cleaners and yarn into Heart Art.


activities with pipe cleaners

Pipe Cleaner Tree

“Plant a tree” by threading pipe cleaners into the holes of a salt shaker. Pony beads become the leaves as you thread them on the pipe cleaners to finish your tree. This is a fun way to encourage pretend play and also a great quiet time activity.


activities with pipe cleaners

Pipe Cleaners and a Pringles Can

Punch holes in the lid of a Pringles can (or something similar). Use markers to color around each hole. Drop the matching colorful pipe cleaners into the holes. This is great for fine motor skills as well as color identification. I love using recycled materials in kids activities.


activities with pipe cleaners

 Sticker Lacing

Punch holes in any craft foam stickers you have on hand and lace them onto pipe cleaners. You can also use this activity to encourage sorting by color or size.


activities with pipe cleaners

Play Dough Creations

Pipe cleaners, pom poms, and googly eyes are a great addition to your play dough creations and monsters.


activities with pipe cleaners

Beaded Turkey Craft

Grab a handful of pipe cleaners in a variety of colors and give this Beaded Turkey Craft a try. It is great fine motor practice and a great way to practice color sorting.


activities with pipe cleaners

Pipe Cleaners and a Colander

Thread pipe cleaners through the holes of a colander. Make a design or just drop them through the holes. This is a great activity for encouraging toddlers to strengthen finger muscles and preschoolers to develop a pincer grasp.


activities with pipe cleaners

DIY Toddler Stacking Toy

Use pipe cleaners of different colors to make shapes for this DIY Toddler Stacking Toy. This is a simple pipe cleaner craft and they can learn so many different things such as colors, shapes, and sorting.


activities with pipe cleaners

Sticky Table

Add pipe cleaners to your sticky table. Use a piece of contact paper (sticky side up) and experiment with sticking different objects on the table and making different designs. This is a fun option to offer young children during craft time.


activities with pipe cleaners

Buttons on a Pipe Cleaner

Threading buttons onto a pipe cleaner is perfect for little hands. Make bracelets or just lace them for fun.


activities with pipe cleaners

DIY Spider Bracelet

Make a spider bracelet at Halloween time or use any plastic animal with your pipe cleaner to create a DIY bracelet.


activities with pipe cleaners

Pipe Cleaner Snakes

Threading beads onto pipe cleaners is wonderful for developing fine motor skills. Match the beads to the same colored pipe cleaner, count a certain number of beads onto a pipe cleaner, or make a pattern. You can also enjoy creating pipe cleaner snakes like we did.


activities with pipe cleaners

Fireworks Painting

Twist pipe cleaners to make a fireworks stamp. Dip them in paint and stamp them onto black paper to make a beautiful print.


activities with pipe cleaners

Fruit Loop Bracelets

Thread fruit loops onto a pipe cleaner to make your own edible Fruit Loop Bracelet. This is a great travel activity because then you can eat them.


activities with pipe cleaners

Pipe Cleaner Rainbow

Use pipe cleaners, beads, and styrofoam to make your own rainbow. This rainbow activity is fun for St. Patrick’s Day or any Spring day.


activities with pipe cleaners

Pipe Cleaner Drop

Drop pipe cleaner pieces into a cheese shaker. Add dice to roll and count how many to drop in.


activities with pipe cleaners

Toddler Color Matching

Bend pipe cleaner rings to lace on the little fingers for this “Rings on Fingers” color matching activity.


Pipe Cleaner Craft Ideas for Older Kids

Older children love to create with pipe cleaners too and the possibilities are endless. Here are several fun pipe cleaner crafts that older kids will enjoy.


activities with pipe cleaners

DIY American Girl Doll Crown

Use a few pipe cleaners to make a crown for your doll.


Try these easy pipe cleaner crafts:

Ninjas from Frugal Fun for Boys

Pipe Cleaner Bunnies from Rhythms of Play

Flowers from Pipe Cleaners at Suburban Mum

Pipe Cleaner Bee from Blissful Domestication

Make a butterfly ring out of pipe cleaners from One Little Project


Pipe Cleaner Constellations

An awesome STEM activity that focuses on stars. Get the full tutorial from STEAM Powered Family


Grow a Crystal Rainbow

This awesome crystal rainbow experiment uses pipe cleaners and is so fun to observe!



Pipe Cleaner Finger Puppets

Easy Peasy and Fun made these fun finger puppets using a hot glue gun. They can also be pencil toppers if you spiral the pipe cleaner tighter. 



What an adorable Christmas tree ornament from Artsy Craftsy Mom! A tree full of these white Christmas trees would be beautiful!



Your Modern Family shows us this pipe cleaner book mark. So clever! What a fun gift to make for a friend or teacher. 


Make your own bubble wands out of pipe cleaners like they did at Messy Little Monster. These are fun to experiment with for kids of all ages. Add an extra challenge of creating your own bubble mixture and change it up to try to perfect it. 


We hope you like these kids activities using pipe cleaners as much as we do! So what will you start with first? 






Thursday 17th of March 2016

Hi! Did you just use a regular single hole punch (scissor-like kind) to punch holes in the pringles can? I am wondering if the guard would prevent the lip of the lid from going through. Thanks!!


Sunday 20th of March 2016

I just used a regular one. It worked well.