Sunday, October 21, 2012

Making your own Abacus/Abaci

So when i took Annabeth and Nik to therapy, i asked their therapist, Judy, what I should do about annabeth's issues with understanding borrowing and carrying in subtraction.  we've been on it a while and she's JUST not getting it, at ALL.  So she recommended we use an abacus to help her visualize better the idea behind subtraction, so I remembered that Right Start has a really good curriculum for that, and even a book specifically for the abacus.  So searched online and happened upon a post on the Well trained mind forum about someone who made her own abacus using the instructions she found on a blog.  Well the blog was an old geocities blog from many years prior and wasn't there, but she'd uploaded a picture of hers and from that it was super easy to figure out how to do it, so i bought the supplies yesterday and today, inbetween my nap and our evening church services I DID IT! Follow through is not my forte these days, so i'm particularly proud of this :)

I made a bunch, i'm contemplating giving one to Judy, as  a thank you for all her awesome work with my kiddos, which would still leave me with 3 which i think is enough.    Together, it cost about $12 with no sales or coupons at JoAnne's so not bad for 4 abaci!

What you need:

50 blue beads (i ran out and used green for 2) and 50 yellow beads for each abacus
I bought a 1 lb packaged of assorted ones for $6

10 1/8 inch dowels.  I bought 2 packs of 22 for $1 each

4 large craft sticks per abacus.  they are like popsicle sticks but thinner and wider.

Glue gun and LOTS of glue sticks. i used more than i expcted, but i was careful to blob it on, that stuff is like cement if you blob on enough.

So all you do is sandwich the dowels between the two craft sticks liberally slathering with glue gun glue, being careful to work quickly, as it dries fast,  then add the beads, then add the other two craft sticks.  My dowels came in about 12 inch segments.  with the blue beaded ones, i cut off about an inch and a half, but by the time i got to the green i was impatient and didn't.  I'm not sure it matters either way.  

I"m pleased with how they turned out! they are super strong :)

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