Build Your Own Abacus

While the exact origins of the abacus are still unknown, the handy math tool has a rich history across the globe. While you’d have to travel to a museum to see an original, we think it’s way more fun to make your own! In just a few easy steps, you and your child can make a craft that adds up to loads of fun.

Abacus craft supplies

  • 1 small picture frame
  • 10 pieces of pipe cleaner
  • 10 sets of 10 beads in different colors

Step 1.
Begin by sliding 10 beads of a single color onto the middle of a piece of pipe cleaner.

Step 2.
Place your beaded pipe cleaner into the center of your picture frame. Wrap the left end of the pipe cleaner around the side of the frame to secure it in place.

Step 3.
Wrap the right end of your pipe cleaner around the other side of the picture frame. Make sure it’s nice and tight to secure the beaded section of pipe cleaner in the middle of the frame.

Step 4.
Complete steps 1-3 nine more times to complete your abacus. You should end up with 10 secured pieces of pipe cleaner containing 10 different colors of beads. (Note, the amount of space in between the beads will depend on the size of the frame you choose.)