I grew up on a farm and I can’t think of a day when I didn’t hear my mom say, “Girls, there is a load of laundry to hang out”. I didn’t often have the luxury of sitting around for hours watching Saturday morning cartoons. There was work to be done! Now I can appreciate that some of that work can be made into fun gross motor and fine motor activities for kids that are beneficial too!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A clothesline or piece of string, clothespins, clothing items or doll clothes.
WHAT TO DO: String a piece of rope or a Dollar Store clothesline between two trees or even two chairs if you are inside. Grab some clothespins and some pieces of clothing (baby doll clothes work great for this!). Scatter the clothing around the room. Ask your child to practice opening and closing the clothespins using their “SUPER FINGERS”.
This may take some practice! My kiddos had a difficult time at first…my mother would be appalled! :) After they get the hang of this, have them pick up each piece of clothing one at a time with the clothespin. Once they have that down, ask them to walk to the clothesline and “hang it all out to dry”. Make sure they’re using both hands for this: 0ne to hold the item and the other to clip the clothespin on.
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-Use pairs of socks and randomly spread them around the room. Have them hang matching socks together.
-Hide the clothing items. Tell the kiddos they have to find 10 pieces and get them hung to dry before a timer goes off!
-Move between the clothesline and clothing items by skipping, hopping, jumping, galloping, walking backwards, walking on tip-toes, crab walking…….can you tell I am the PT? :)
-Place the clothesline at varying heights. You could even tie it low one side and higher on the other. This challenges their balance, proprioception, and visual perception.
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Balance, fine motor skills, motor control, proprioception, visual motor integration
Want to take a closer look at the skills kids are using in this activity? Check out our Clinical Closeup page, where we break down the skills listed below in terms everyone can understand.
Looking for more great fine motor activities for kids?
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