Friday, March 19, 2010

Clothespin activities

I dry our laundry on a clothesline outside....and this is one of Q's favorite activities. She loves taking the clothespins from the tall glass vase and handing them to me. She practices carrying the fragile vase carefully, and when we take down the clothes she replaces the clothespins in the vase. This is a great way for her to practice her spatial awareness as she fits the pins in the narrow vase. It also helps develop a sense of volume (capacity containers will hold) and quantity (number of objects). I try to make observations such as "the jar has lots of clothespins! It's very full!" and "Ohh, there are only a few left! We've used lots of clothespins already!" to help expose her to these relationships.
Older kids can take this even further by playing a game where they try to drop clothespins in a milk jug (put a little sand in the bottom to keep it from tipping over) or soda bottle.

Older toddlers and preschoolers that have the dexterity and strength to squeeze a clothespin love clipping work!
This is a large, empty oatmeal container that I covered in felt. The clothespins are then clipped around the rim. When not in use they can be stored in the center.
-actually clip objects onto the container--felt animals, flowers, paper, baby socks, etc.
-draw dots around the rim of the container so the clips go on each dot
-use clips of differing sizes--binder clips, chip clips, etc.
*For my preschoolers I used to use about 5 different size clips. I would trace around each clip (clip it on the container and then draw around the part that touches the container) and they would have the task of matching each clip to its drawing.

Of course clothespins are fabulous for fine motor development as they use the pincer grasp. They also promote counting!
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