Practical Life IX - Using clothespins (clothes-pegs)

A great exercise to strengthen little fingers and prepare them for later pen holding and writing is using clothespins. There are many ways a child can use them, I will show you three of them.
I chose the nice wooden pins which are more appealing to the children than the large plastic ones.

Using clothespins

  • small wooden clothespins
  • a box 
You can use any kind of a small box, I used a transparent one. I keep the pins inside the box on the shelf instead of on a tray, this way the work takes up less of my precious space.
The objective of this exercise is to pin the clothespins around the edges of the box.

When a child gets enough practice with pinning the clothespins around the box, he can try pinning some small clothes to a cloth line.

  • a string suspended between two rods (I used a thingy for hanging bananas :-) )
  • small pieces of material (I cut some colorful felt into the shape of T-shirt, pants, shorts and skirt)
  • small clothespins in a container
The objective is for the child to hang the clothes on the line using pins (just like in real life, but in miniature). At first the child may have problems with this exercise, because it's not that easy to hold  a piece of cloth in one hand and at the same time try to squeeze open the pin with the other hand.

Next exercise is combining Practical Life work with Math exercise.

  • paper bowls with numbers (0-9) written on the inside and corresponding number of dots on the bottom
  • 45 clothespins
The objective is for the child to pin the right number of pins to each bowl.
1 pin to the bowl with a number 1 in it.
2 pins to the bowl with a number 2 in it.
and so on ...
You may want to introduce the zero to the child - zero pins pinned to the bowl with a 0 on it.

Don't forget that your Little One can also help you hang the laundry :-)