Fall Clothespin Tree {Fine Motor Fridays}

When Laura of Lalymom asked me if I wanted to join her and three other bloggers for a series featuring fine motor activities I was very excited! This was just the motivation I needed to write up this fun post! So for every Friday in October Lalymom, Craftulate, School Time Snippets, Next Comes L, and myself will be posting fun activities that promote development of fine motor skills. So after reading this post you will want to go check out what fun they have posted about!

Mini Clothespins from Micheal's

Mini Clothespins from Micheal’s

We have been working really hard over here on Caden’s fine motor skills. He is actually slightly delayed (according to his occupational therapist) in this area of development due to his sensory issues, active energy and short attention span. So when I saw these fall leaf clothespins at Micheal’s the other day I knew just what to do with them!

Fall Clothespin Tree- Stir the Wonder

This is a very easy to make fine motor activity using brown craft foam and the leaf clothespins. It didn’t take me much time at all to sketch out the shape of a tree on the craft foam and cut it out. Then I displayed it nicely on my newly painted activity trays (cookie sheets from the Dollar Tree) and invited Caden to work those hand muscles by pinching the clothespins, removing the leaves from the tree and placing them in a small container.

Fall Clothespins Tree - Stir the Wonder

Fall Clothespins Tree - Stir the Wonder

I wasn’t sure that Caden would be interested in this activity based on previous experience, but to my surprise he got right into it! He used his pincer grasp and removed each leaf one at a time, and carefully placed it into the red container. I would have liked to see him place the leaves back on the tree, but was happy to see him focus on an activity for the time that he did. I was also impressed that he put it back on the shelf when he was done.

Fall Clothespins Tree - Stir the Wonder

Some tips that I think contributed to his success: I had a small quilt spread out on the floor which defined the activity area and seemed to help focus his attention, much like the Montessori idea of an activity mat. This was also the first time using the activity tray and it had a similar effect. When I asked my fellow kid blogger Deb of Living Montessori Now about why this may be, she explained that by using a tray to hold materials directs a child attention to that activity and that the organized manner of a tray helps to organize the child’s mind.

Fall Clothespins Tree - Stir the Wonder

kinda fuzzy, but it shows how Caden is putting his tray away 🙂

We’ve also been working with the occupational therapist on cleaning up and putting his toys or activities away when he is finished. I was very pleased when Caden picked up and put the tray away when he was done, with no prompting from me. 🙂

Fall Clothespin Tree - Stir the Wonder

Happy Fine Motor Friday!

Fine Motor Fridays

Go check out these great fine motor ideas from:



Next Comes L

School Time Snippets


Our NEW 99 Fine Motor Ideas for Ages 1 to 5 is full of all types of enriching fine motor activities that your kids will love! And you will love them too because they are simple to set up and use everyday items you probably have around the house! Each activity includes full color photos, a materials list and step-by-step instructions. It’s a fantastic resource for parents, educators, and caretakers!

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22 thoughts on “Fall Clothespin Tree {Fine Motor Fridays}”

  1. Laura M. says:

    So cute! Those clothes pins are awesome! And what great discoveries you made about his learning in the process, bonus for you! We recently had our first activity on a tray too and we returned to the tray several times in one day, when many times I set up and activity and we’re done in 5 minutes. Happy Fine Motor Friday! 🙂

    1. Samantha says:

      Thanks Laura! Those clothespins were a good find!

  2. Dyan says:

    Great activity! And I enjoyed reading about how you are finding what works to help Caden focus on his tasks.

    1. Samantha says:

      Thanks Dyan! It’s all about trial and error with parenting, slowly but surely I will figure out what works best! 🙂

  3. I love clothespin activities! They require so much concentration and are a great fine motor activity!! I use trays with my 2 year old, and usually we sit on the floor or she takes them to a table, but I’ll have to get a small rug to define an area, too. Glad your son enjoyed the activity!

    1. Samantha says:

      Thanks Kristina! I wish I had used trays sooner!

  4. Missy says:

    What a good idea! I was actually thinking of making some autumn leaf clothespins like those and turn them into magnets. Now I have an activity we can use them for 🙂 Thanks for sharing! I’ll be pinning this!

    1. Samantha says:

      Thanks Missy! Leaf magnets would be fun too!

  5. Lauren says:

    What a great way to celebrate Fall and work on some motor skills! Thank you for sharing at our Pinning for Play link party!

  6. Great activity! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  7. Lauren says:

    I just wanted to pop back in and let you know that I’ve featured you at this week’s Pinning for Play link party!

    1. Samantha says:

      oh cool! Thanks Lauren!

  8. Victoria says:

    This looks like so much fun and way too cute! I think my girls would love this!

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