Need to entertain your one-year-old? Try this toddler fine motor clothespin activity.
Grab your clothespins and paper rolls for this quick and easy fine motor game for toddlers.
I have learned about my 18-month-old that his mind is always focused on how things work, how things come apart, and just how far something will travel when it gets tossed across the room.
Through these observations, we discovered Clothespin Pull.
RELATED: 40+ Activities for One-year-olds
Now let’s recap.
It was 5:50. My husband wants to know what is for dinner, and my boys won’t stop asking for a snack. No, crackers and leftover candy canes are not for dinner. I needed to get everyone out so I can navigate the kitchen.
I grabbed my stash of paper rolls (don’t worry, if you don’t have a stash, they collect VERY quickly) and searched for something for my one-year-old to pull off—the squeezing, pulling, and trying to reattach also perfect for his fine motor grip.
RELATED: Stop the search and keep these fine motor ideas on hand.
Wait. Why Fine Motor Grip Now?
Having fun with activities that strengthen your toddler’s chubby hands now will help them with the tougher skills down the road, such as writing, cutting, drawing, and even tying a shoe!
These skills take a lot of thinking and holding the hand steady.
If we take the time to strengthen the muscles now, they can focus on the harder parts like letter formation later.
We keep these supplies simple, just like the toys you will find in our toddler toy list! They are timeless and encourage learning through play.
- Paper rolls – We have an entire collection of ideas for paper tubes!
- Clothespins – you could also use chip clips.
Begin by offering your one-year-old (in this picture, 18 months) about 5 paper rolls with the top clothespins. Watch your one-year-old take the clothespins on and off the paper tube.
You can encourage play a little longer with these phrases:
Can you take the clothespin OFF?
Can you put the clothespins THROUGH the tube? Here, I can show…Now you do it.
Here, put the clothespins in this bowl – offer a bowl as an extension.
Pulling, pinching, and grasping is a huge skill!
Get started today! Your dinner will be ready in no time. Next, head to our favorite toddler activity list for even more quick and easy ideas.