DIY Bead & String Puzzle

Bead String Puzzle Header

We love a good brain teaser here at Maths Week Scotland, and in today's craft activity you can get hands on with your very own DIY bead & string puzzle. First you'll need to make it, then you'll need to solve it! You can get the kids involved in both parts. Trying to solve the puzzle will encourage logical thinking, as well as nurturing patience and fine motor skills.

Watch our short video, or scroll down for detailed written instructions.

Making the puzzle

You will need:

  • a piece of cardboard, ca. 8cm x 16cm
  • a pair of scissors
  • a piece of string, ca. 40cm long
  • a large bead

Start by making three holes in the cardboard, equidistant from each other.

Then fold the string in half, push the end loop through the centre hole and the string ends through the loop.

Thread the bead on to one end of the string.

Finally, thread the ends of the string through the outer holes, and make a knot in the ends on the back of the cardboard.

Solving the puzzle

To solve the puzzle, you need to move the bead from one side to the other.

SPOILER ALERT! Don't scroll down unless you want the solution.

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First, pull down the loop in the middle, and thread the bead through the loop.

Then, grasp the two threads of string in front of the centre hole, and pull them forwards until the loop comes through the hole.

Now move the bead along the string and through the loop past the centre hole, then pull the loop from behind back through to the back.

Finally, move the bead along the rest of the string to the other side, then straighten out the string. Done!

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