Toddler Practical Life: Clothespins


Sixtine had the opportunity to experience clothespins a few days ago. It is part of Practical Life in the Montessori curriculum and it helps develop pincer grip (which will later be helpful for writing). I used a small basket filled with clothespins and a plastic bowl. This activity wasn’t a success – Sixtine pinched her finger and was a little nervous at the thought of trying again. She quickly realized that the clothespins could stay on the edge of the bowl without pinching. And she seemed happy with herself. I tried to show her again the mechanism: squeeze, line up, relax grip in vain. She quickly showed lack of interest. I will try again another time but with a different bowl – I wonder if the edge was too thick and therefore, harder to work with?


  1. Thats a good activity. I need to start book marking someof your blog for those rainy days when my boy is older.

  2. Maybe you could try giving her a clean tea towel to stick them to?

  3. Great idea! I’m gonna pull out our clothespins tomorrow.

  4. We have a clothes pin activity on our shelves. I used 2 small metal pails and a tray to hold them. The rim of the pails works well for us.

  5. My little guy (15 months) still has trouble with this one too. I think the slow introduction is good. I used a small plastic tubberware dish. He isn’t sure about squeezing but it took him awhile to get his bike bell and he eventually got that. I think it just takes time! Great ideas!

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