What you'll need:
Bowl or basket with a thin rim
Optional: Scissors, cut out shapes or numbers (Download worksheet)
This is an easy DIY Montessori activity to help children develop their pincer grasp, dexterity, concentration, and help wth small muscle development. It is also a wonderful activity for teaching children how to use clothespins—which are used in many Montessori practical life exercises. It is best for children 2½+ due of the muscle control required.
Level One: Introducing Clothespins/Developing Pincer Grasp
Set up the pins around the rim of the container for your child. Encourage your child to remove the pins, demonstrating first how to squeeze and lift the pin vertically. Place the removed pins into the container.
Level Two: Clothespin Placement and Small Muscle Control
Start the activity with the clothespins in the bowl or basket, and ask your child to clip the clothespins to the rim of the container. Observe how they initially choose to space the clothespins. Many children align them closely together.
Level three: Placement and Spacing
Next ask the child to space the pins evenly apart around the bowl to make a sunray pattern. Once they complete this task, you may then ask them to remove the pins back into the container and complete the activity again—this time spacing the clothespins evenly from the start.
Level Three: Additional Items
If you want to challenge you child further, you can also cut out shapes or numbers and ask them to clip the items to the outside of the bowl. If your child is using scissors, they can also practice their cutting skills by cutting out these items for you. (download easy print and cut shapes and numbers)
What it teaches:Fine Motor Skills
Hand Eye Coordination
Focus & Concentration