Toddler Fine Motor Exploration with Clothespins

Clothespins! Perfect for those little fingers!

I was thinking about pinching the spring-type clothespins and how great that would be for hand strengthening. But, I found that I had a bunch of these old-fashioned ones too [we had both types out].

A bucket and some clothespins. 

That’s all it takes for some toddler exploration, and some great fine motor practice [even for preschoolers!].

I started with showing George the spring-type clothespins, but he struggled with opening and closing them far enough to pinch anything. Henry had a lot more luck with them. I suppose it takes time to build strength in their fingers.

George loved using the old-fashioned kind of clothespins though. It seems so simple to think about how easy this is. Simply sliding the clothespin on the side of the bucket. But it takes a lot of concentration for a toddler to do it. It takes hand-eye coordination to accomplish it!

It also gave George a huge amount of satisfaction with every clothespin he pinned onto the bucket! His look to me for approval was priceless each time.

I love this type of play for toddlers especially. Exploring an object and how it works. I often overlook the simplicity of it. But always love these activities the most when we do them.

For more ideas on objects toddler can explore, check out that section in the 50 activities just for your toddler.

 George is 22 months old.


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  1. says

    This is almost exactly like a post I did on my site. Except that I used a papermache box from Michaels so that I could store the clothes pins inside. Its cool to see another spin on this idea!

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