Pipe cleaners are one of my go-to craft supplies for the counseling office. They’re so versatile, easy to store, and students love to create things with them or just keep their hands busy. While they are great for demonstrating flexibility, they have so many more uses from keeping students’ fingers busy to tracking progress toward goals. Keep reading to find pipe cleaner crafts that your students will love!
Pipe Cleaner Crafts for School Counseling
Pipe Cleaner Fidgets
To make a pencil fidget, simply wrap a pipe cleaner around the pencil for sensory engagement. This is so simple, but students love the added texture! If you want to add a bead, add a piece of tape to both ends of the pipe cleaner so the bead doesn’t fall off. Students can push the bead up and down the pipe cleaner spiral to use as a fidget.
For another simple fidget tool, string some beads onto a pipe cleaner and tape the ends to a short craft stick. Be sure to leave some space on the pipe cleaner so that the students can push the beads up and down. They can also just roll the beads under their fingers. These are small enough that they can be easily store in desks or pockets.
Goal Tracking Bracelets
Give your student a pipe cleaner to use as a bracelet. Each time she meets a goal, let her choose a bead to add to the bracelet. The bracelet and beads will serve as a visual reminder of what she’s working toward and the progress she has already made!
Create a pipe cleaner gauge to monitor progress toward goals, identify steps in a process, or show feelings. Make your gauge on paper, and punch holes at the top and bottom of the scale. Put a bead on the pipe cleaner, and insert both ends of the pipe cleaner into the holes of the paper and tape them down on the back.
Students can slide the bead to show their progress toward the goal they’re working on. Or, students can visually represent what step they are on in a given process, like resolving a conflict. They can also use a gauge to show others how they are feeling.
This idea came from Laura at Play Dr. Hutch. On her post, she shows how to make worry dolls using pipe cleaners. She cuts her pipe cleaners in half and makes one worry doll with one pipe cleaner. These are great to make with students in individual counseling or small group counseling. Students can keep the worry dolls with them at school and at home and tell them all of their worries.
Do you have other pipe cleaner crafts you like to make with your counseling students? Let us know in the comments. And if you’re a crafty counselor too, you’ll love these other Confident Counselor craft ideas!