Did you have an abacus growing up? I didn’t, so I thought it would be fun to make one from scratch! I have a huge sweet tooth, so I couldn’t help but use Lifesavers candies as the beads. Of course, because the candies are unwrapped this abacus won’t last forever – you’ll want to eat the candies before too long!
I love the idea of using this to help with math homework and knowing you’ll have a sweet treat as a reward when you’re done. Maybe you could even come up with a math problem to solve how many abacus candies your kids are allowed to eat!0
What You Need
- Wooden skewers (10)
- 12” long wooden dowels (4)
- Hot glue gun
- Craft knife
- Lifesavers candy (100)
On two of the dowels, use a pencil to mark ½” ticks in from all four ends. Then mark ticks 1” apart in the remaining space. When you’re done, each dowel should have 12 marks total.
Cut the other two dowels down to about 10”, or no longer than the length of your wooden skewers.
Hot glue the two short dowels to the end tick marks on the other two dowels, making a rectangle.
Use string to secure the spots you just glued, tying the knots all on the same side so that can be the back of the abacus.
Depending on the length of your wooden skewers, cut them down to about 10” to fit across the frame or leave as is. Unwrap the candies and put 10 onto each of the 10 wooden skewers.
Hot glue each wooden skewer onto the wooden dowels using the tick marks from earlier. Make sure you use enough glue so that the skewers are secure – the candies can be heavy! Tie strings around these joints too for extra strength if you like – it just makes eating the candy later a little bit harder. (NOTE: You can also coat the candies with a sealer if you aren’t planning on eating them and just want a playful look. Because the candies are unwrapped, this abacus won’t last forever but if treated with care it should last a few homework sessions before it’s gobbled up!)