I was inspired by the textured clothespin idea from Teach Preschool, so we used some other materials to make some textured clothespins of our own! Using these around the preschool classroom is a fun sensory experience and wonderful for fine motor skill development.
You could use almost any type of collage materials that you can find (buttons, googly eyes, pom poms, beads, foam shapes) and you can change these up every so often to reflect themes and topics that you are discussing in the classroom.
We used tacky glue to stick on heavier objects, it is less drippy and holds well. We also tried to leave the ends of the clothespins clear of objects so that little fingers could grasp the ends easily. We also had some sticky-back foam pieces that stick well (but can also be easily pulled off). That can also be a good thing … since you can then easily change up the foam pieces on the clothespins and reuse them.
Some ideas for using textured clothespins are:
– Make clothespins using objects of all the same COLOR, or use colors that reflect the season (ie. fall, winter, spring or summer colors … green for St. Patrick’s Day, red-white-blue for Memorial Day or July 4th, etc).
– Make clothespins with various SHAPES and do some shape matching games with them (make up index cards with one shape on them – have them clip the matching clothespin on the card).
– Make clothespins with various PATTERNS and see if children can identify the pattern. Or make some monochrome clothespins, and see if children can make their OWN pattern by clipping them on a clothesline.
– Make clothespins with various LETTERS (using small foam letters). Some uses for this … letter matching games using letter flash cards, matching upper to lower case letters, finding the letters in your name, etc.
– Spell children’s NAMES on the clothespins … can use these for various activities in a classroom, such as a way to “check-in” to a learning center, attendance board, name matching games.
– Use these as a 3-D ART project, allowing children to use various materials to decorate clothespins as they wish. These can be displayed in all kinds of ways in the classroom, and you can clip the child’s name or picture along with their clothespin.
Be sure to check out the other textures that Deborah used for her Textured Clothespins at Teach Preschool. So many ways to use these (and they are inexpensive to make)!