Beaded Braids: Investigating Patterns & Ratios

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In this activity learners create patterns of hair beads. Simone and Brianna like different mixes of beads in their braids, so learners must figure out how to distribute 40 beads to satisfy both characters. Images of the two girls are provided in the PDF. Either 20 each of two types of real beads can be used, or the learner can cut out paper beads (20 round and 20 heart-shaped), though the pattern is missing from the PDF. Included questions help learners explore ratio through addition, multiplication, and division. Learners can color the pictures and beads, and make braids with yarn for fun. This activity could also be adapted in terms of decorating lanyard and would connect very well with afterschool or home craft activities.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Simone's and Brianna's braid board (pictures in PDF)
  • 20 each of two types of hair beads (40 total) or cut out heard and round paper beads (template missing from PDF)


  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Patterns

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide