This activity is a favourite at our CEFA Early Learning schools! I will soon post a follow-up activity to this one, which involves play dough. So don’t throw out the little pieces of straw from this activity so you can use them again. This is an inexpensive and fun way for your child to practice scissor skills, fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It seems so simple (and it is) but it is perfect for practicing these essential and sensory skills for your little one.

Best Ages for This Activity

One to five (as soon as your child can hold scissors).

How to Make It


  • Colourful straws
  • A pair of child-safe scissors
  • Any bowl or container (where the cut straws can fall in) – we use a sensory bin (see below)

Optional Ingredients

  • A sensory bin (to put the straws and scissors in). Use anything you might already have at home. I like the ones with lids because they are easy to store and put away when you need (under the bed is the perfect place!). We use these bins for so many different sensory activities in the classrooms, and when my children were little, I always had one in their room that I changed every week or two. Now that they are 18 and 20 years old, that poor bin retired and found its way to one of our CEFA Early Learning schools. If you don’t have something to use around the house, you can purchase one here.

Let’s Get Started!

  • Set up the materials neatly (straws, scissors and container)
  • Invite your child to cut straws
  • If your child is very young, demonstrate how to use scissors safely.

Learning Opportunities

Children will learn math while cutting the straws. Enrich the learning experience by using math vocabulary during play, such as:

  • Colours
  • Width
  • Length
  • Thicker / thinner (if you have different straws)
  • Divide
  • How many
  • How much
  • Counting
  • Sorting (during play, if applicable)

They will also learn scissor skills, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, all important to learn writing. They will also be an opportunity for sensory learning (you can fill the sensory bin with cut straws for a great sensory bin which we can enrich over several days (more activities to come).

Extended Learning Opportunities

In the next few weeks, I will add activities you can work on with your new mini straws. Stay tuned!

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