Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Clothespin Number Game (a simple tutorial for a great preschool activity)

The other day when my friend Brittany and I were out on a walk we got to talking about preschool stuff and started swapping ideas.  Later that evening I got an e-mail from Brittany saying she had already gotten busy making some fun preschool games for her daughter who's the same age as Olivia.  

One of the things she made was a little clothespin number game.  She described it to me (although, to be honest, I have no idea if it looks like the one I made today) and it sounded simple enough.  It also sounded like a great activity that Olivia would enjoy, so today I made a set for Olivia to play with.

This activity focuses on the following areas:
  • Number recognition
  • Number order
  • Counting
  • Fine motor skills

It's especially fitting for Olivia right now because we've been working on the teens (13, 14, 15, etc.) lately and this activity is good reinforcement there.

Want to make and use your own?  Get the full tutorial after the jump!

Clothespin Number Game

--Make It!--


You'll need:

  • a cereal box or piece of cardboard
  • 20 clothespins
  • a pen
  • a paper cutter or rotary cutting supplies

Step 1: Cut cardboard

Cut a piece of cardboard (mine was from that Chex cereal box) to 4" x 10".

Step 2: Draw squares

Measure in 1" on each of the long sides and draw a straight line.

(Sorry this picture is upside down.  I tried fixing it and my computer is not cooperating.  Whatevs.)

Then turn the cardboard and draw lines every inch across the cardboard on each of the long sides.

Step 3: Write numbers on cardboard

Write the numbers 1-20, one in each square, on the cardboard.

Step 4: Write numbers on clothespins

Write the numbers 1-20 on the clothespins.

Just FYI, I chose to use a pen instead of a Sharpie marker because the pen doesn't bleed.

--Play with It!--

Stash all the clothespins in a basket or bowl.

Pull the clothespins out one at a time and clip them onto the corresponding numbers.

Keep going until you've clipped all the numbers on in the right places.  Then take a minute to stop and practice counting.  Once you're finished, take the clothespins off and put them back in the basket so they'll be ready to go next time.

Olivia wanted to play with it as soon as I finished making it, so we sat down and got busy.

Just like I predicted, she needed quite a bit of help identifying the numbers over 9, but that's what activities like this are good for.  :)

Once she knew what number it was, she was pretty good at matching them up all on her own.

And she even got the hang of opening the clothespins all by herself.

But she did need some help holding the cardboard in place while she clipped the clothespins on.

All in all, she did a great job.  She was so focused practicing the names of the numbers and matching them up.  I was pretty proud of her.

She was pretty proud of herself too.  :)

Then it was time to clean up!

She was pretty fast at that.

Then it was time for some fishy faces.

And silly wide-open mouths.

And more fishy faces.

And smiles.  :)

This girl sure loves her preschool time.  I think she'll be in heaven when it's time to go to kindergarten... in two years.  Haha.  In the mean time, we'll just keep doing fun things like this at home!


Find more fun and easy preschool ideas on the Preschool page.  You can also find them by clicking on the Preschool button in the header.  Enjoy!   


Amy said...

I love it! And I am pinning it!

Unknown said...

I loved the idea .. I do for my daughter.
kisses from Portugal

Kristin said...

We made this to take in the car for an upcoming road trip. My 4 yo son colored the bottom half of the clothes pins with markers and added some stickers to the cardboard. He loved helping make it and can't wait to play his number game! Thanks for the great idea!

Cheryl said...

I am excited to share this idea to the preschool teachers who will be the recipients of our school's extension activity. I'm very sure they will love this this frugal and fun activity to teach numbers!