10 Super Fun (And Educational!) Pipe Cleaner Activities

10 Super Fun (And Educational!) Pipe Cleaner Activities


by Rachel Wells

Pipe cleaners are a must have craft supply. They’re inexpensive, colorful, and the possibilities of what you can use them for are endless – from fun crafts to hands-on learning opportunities! Pipe cleaners are also great for fine motor skills and they’re even magnetic.

Check out some of these awesome pipe cleaner activities that are perfect for kids of all ages.


Pencil Toppers

Twist a few pipe cleaners around a pencil and use hot glue to attach some googly eyes to make these adorable pencil toppers.


Design a Disguise

Challenge your child to design a disguise using only pipe cleaners – cat ears, glasses, mustaches… the possibilities are endless!


Spelling Practice

Pipe cleaners can easily be shaped to form letters, making them a super hands-on way to practice spelling or sight words.


Magnetic Fishing

Bend pipe cleaners into fish shapes and toss them into a tub or large bowl of water. Create a fishing pole using a stick, piece of yarn, and a magnet and enjoy some indoor fishing. You can also challenge your child to see how many fish they can catch with their pole within a set amount of time.


String the Number

Use painters’ tape to attach a small flag at the top of each of your pipe cleaners. Write different numbers on each piece of tape and have your child string the same number of beads onto each one.


Practice Fact Families

Attach a small piece of painter’s tape onto each of your pipe cleaners. Write a number on each piece of tape and string the same number of beads onto them. Finish by twisting the pipe cleaners into circle shapes. Your child will move the beads to either side of the tape in different combinations to discover all the addition problems in each fact family.


Fraction Snake

Cut different colors of plastic straws into 1-inch pieces. String the pieces onto a pipe cleaner and add a face using construction paper. Have your child write fractions for each of the colors they used to make the snake.


Create Constellations

Use pipe cleaners and yellow beads to re-create constellations from the night sky.


Flower Bookmark

Create a flower with a long stem out of pipe cleaners that can be used as a bookmark. Perfect for all the books you plan to read over winter break!


Grow Crystals

If you have a little scientist at home this is such a fun experiment to do using pipe cleaners!

In order to grow crystals, you will need borax powder, water, string, pipe cleaners, a pencil, and a jar.


  1. Bend the pipe cleaner into your desired shape.
  2. Tie a piece of string onto your pipe cleaner. Tie the other end of the string to the center of the pencil.
  3. Boil 2 cups of water.
  4. Stir 8 tablespoons of borax into the water until it dissolves.
  5. Fill your jar with the borax solution.
  6. Place your pipe cleaner into the jar. The pencil should stay on the top of the jar to keep the pipe cleaner suspended. Make sure the pipe cleaner isn’t touching the sides of the jar.
  7. Leave the jar for at least 24 hours so the crystals can grow. When you are ready to remove the crystal, gently tug the string out of the jar.


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