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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Play Dough Creations
Pipe cleaners, pom poms, and googly eyes are a great addition to your play dough creations and monsters.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Buttons on a Pipe Cleaner
Threading buttons onto a pipe cleaner is perfect for little hands. Make bracelets or just lace them for fun.
DIY Spider Bracelet
Make a spider bracelet at Halloween time or use any plastic animal with your pipe cleaner to create a DIY bracelet.
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.
Twist pipe cleaners to make a fireworks stamp. Dip them in paint and stamp them onto black paper to make a beautiful print.
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.
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.
Pipe Cleaner Drop
Drop pipe cleaner pieces into a cheese shaker. Add dice to roll and count how many to drop in.
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.
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?