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This would be a great tool for addition/subtraction! make it with just 3 rows, with each bead counting for ones on the bottom, tens in middle and hundreds on top!

oh yeah I want to make one of these more like the original (crate and barrel?) with metal or painted to look like metal and maybe stained wooden rounded balls

Classroom DIY: Make an abacus with kiddos to teach number sense and then use it to manipulate numbers. Beads on pipe cleaners is one of my favorite fine motor activities - there is something about the fuzz and the bead that most kiddos find irresistible. This uses pipe cleaners and drink stirrers, that would be even cooler

mommo design - 10 DIYs FOR KIDS - Desk abacus

DIY How to make your own Abacus with popsicle sticks, pony beads and dowels or bamboo skewers. How to teach it: homeschoolmath.bl... and www.ehow.com/...

DIY Children's Abacus using cardboard, string and coloured beads.

This quiet book is one from etsy. (sixty dollars) Like the ides in them though. Fun and easy to do.

How to make an upcyled DIY Abacus! A cute and educational diy craft... love it! To make your own head to - letsdosomethingcrafty.com/cheap-quick-easy-make-upcyled-diy-abacus/