Sunday, 8 January 2017

Fun and Clever Ways to Use Clothespins in the Classroom

Clothespins/ Clothes pegs are easy to use, versatile, and a great tool for working on fine motor skills. Whether you want to use them to create an art wall and hang the children’s paintings, or let children use them in games and fine motor activities, they are great, aren’t they?

Here are some of my favorite ways to use clothespins:
  • For clip it games: create cards with initial sounds or counting cards with numbers and give the children clothespins to clip on the correct number or letter. Here are a few examples: Initial Letter Recognition Clip It Game, Clothespin and Tracing Game, and Counting Syllables – Spring Vocabulary.
  • Play games where children have to move small objects and transfer items from one place to another. Using clothespins can be a very effective way of working those finger muscles. For example, children can have a race – whoever can take 5 pompoms from one side of the room to another first wins the game.
  • You can make all kinds of crafts with clothespins: crocodiles, butterflies, frogs, etc.
  • Make chore charts or any sort of chart and write a task/an item on every clothespin. Whenever you are done with one, take the clothespin away. I used to have a weekly menu planner board (a laminated page with the days of the week) and recipes on strips of paper. At the beginning of the week, I chose 7 of them and placed them on the board with clothespins. It was very easy to do, but I got a bit lazy and put it aside for a while.
  • You can create different paintbrushes using clothespins and small objects: sponges, pompoms, pipe cleaners, paper, feathers, plastic bag, etc.
  • Use washy tape to decorate clothespins and then hang the children’s work with them
  • Create stick puppets for your stories. Print and laminate different characters from your favorite stories, then glue them on clothespins. You can them make them stand, grab things, and even swing!
  • Build a fun construction set with popsicle sticks and clothespins. The kids will have a blast creating and balancing objects
  • Use them to label kids’ clothes before hanging them in the dryer. The weather in Finland can be very humid and cold, so it’s absolutely necessary to hang the clothes in the dryer when we come inside from the park. But some of the children don’t have names on all items of clothing, so we just use clothespins with their name. For privacy reasons, I took a photo before writing the names on them.  
For more ideas, please check my Pinterest board, Clothespins.

What are your favorite ways to use clothes pegs? Leave a comment and win the resources from Grumpy Dumpling that I mentioned above.

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