Discover Countless Ways To Play
  • Help the child string all the beads on the lace in order, beginning with the engine and letter A and finishing with Z. Sing the Alphabet Song together, touching each letter bead with a finger as you sing its name.

  • Ask the child to sort the animals by color. Help the child think of other ways to sort and group the beads, (such as land animals/sea animals or vowels/consonants).

  • Ask the child to look for all the letters in his or her name. Look for the letters in other familiar words.

  • Create your own spelling cards for the child to copy with the beads. (Be sure each word has only one of each letter.)

  • String two or three letter beads on the lace to make a common sound (such as "AT" or "EN"). Then help the child add a starting letter to make a complete word (such as "CAT" or "PEN"). Sound out the word together, then replace one or more letters to change the word.

  • Place all the beads upside-down so the pictures are hidden, and string the engine on the lace. Then take turns choosing a bead, revealing the picture, and using that animal to add to a story about a crazy train trip.