I had a really hard time finding beads for some reason. The ones I found are a bit on the small side so we watch my little guy like a hawk when he has them because of the choking hazard for the baby. Anyway, this is another activity and involves very fine motor control because of the size of the beads and for when he's threading them onto a pipe cleaner.
Sometimes I put a pattern of beads on a pipe cleaner which he has to copy. You wouldn't think this is hard, but apparently it is a learned skill. He much prefers I just give him a couple of pipe cleaners and his beads and let him do as he pleases.
I also have baby food jars that I glued different coloured papers on to. He likes sorting the beads into their proper jars. He is a bit troubled if a bead goes in the wrong jar.
I'm thinking about putting a knot in the end of a length of yarn, wrapping tape around the other end (like the end of a shoelace) and letting him string beads. I think this would be really good for his fine motor control.
Have you used beads with your little one? What is their favourite thing to do?