Thursday, March 19, 2009

Not your Grandmother's laundry . . .

Seriously. Does anyone still hang their clothes on the line to dry outside? I don't think that I have seen a clothes line at any of my friends houses last time we were over for a play date. Growing up, we would always hang our sheets and towels outside and I vividly remember my Grandmother's clothes pin bag and going to help her hang clothes on the line. Drying clothes on the line - at least in my small circle- seems like an era gone by. But . . . your kiddie needs to learn how to operate a clothes pin - if for nothing else but to let you drink your coffee in peace one morning! ha! :)

Here's what you need: Clothes pins of any type (I have several ideas for you - keep scrolling!) and a straight lipped bowl or glass

Here's why you should do it: This activity will help develop their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and help increase their concentration levels. Hopefully they will like it so much they will do it over and over again and let you drink a second cup of coffee to better face the day!

On this post, I am going to show you increasing levels of difficulty instead of "stepping it up a notch" or "stepping it down a notch". You'll see . . .

Start with 8-10 clothes pins inside your selected container. Make sure that the width of the "lip" and the height will correctly accommodate your pins.

Take the pins and place them on the rim of the container. A very young toddler could do these pins (there is no pinching!)
Ta da! Lawton started pretending that these were the members of our family and was naming them as he was placing them on the lip. How I wish I had gotten this out two years ago . . . I guess Carolina will benefit, huh?
These are "typical" clothes pins.
He's proud as punch that he lined them up so neatly . . .
These clothes pins could probably be found in your office supply section of the store. (I don't really remember, though. I bought them when I was teaching about six years ago . . .)
He liked matching the colors as he was clipping them on.
This is where it finally got challenging for Lawton. These teeny tiny clips are tricky! He did a few and then said he "was tired". umm hmmm. I have left them out though and he has already tackled them again. Maybe in a few days he will have the hang of it!
Just to show you the scale - my beautifully manicured fingernails (hear the sarcasm?) and the too cute clothes pins. You can find these probably at a craft store or the dollar store. Again, six years ago, people. :)
I thought of these kind of clips after Lawton was sleeping. You probably have these on hand in your desk drawer!
Oh! Guess what?! When we got back from camping last night, (sorry for the delay in posting), we had a package waiting for us! Lawton was so excited - he didn't know it was coming! Here is a book that I got to go with the butterfly kit.

And here is the kit! This kit came with a coupon that I have to send in to get the caterpillars. I saw that some kits are shipped with live caterpillars, too. I'm glad that I got the coupon kind, though, since ours came while we were gone! Caterpillars are coming soon . . .


  1. In reference to Lawton's "tired" comment: any specific hints for helping a 3 y/o stay with a task a little longer? Camden seems to get frustrated quickly and easily with some of these things.

  2. Sara,
    If he gets frustrated and wants to quit, let him. There is no sense to make them do things they are not ready for or have the concentration for . . . it will come! I left the clothes pins out on the table and Lawton went back and did them three different times on his own. He was finally able to do all the little clothes pins - because HE wanted to, not because I wanted him to. :) (Which is like most things - it has to be HIS idea. :) This doesn't really help much . . .

  3. If you want to take you idea one step further you could have him clip clothes onto a clothes drying rack.