My Sam, at the age of 3, is quite the guy. He – I suppose like most children- would much rather play with boxes, popsicle sticks, and clothespins then any ‘real’ toy. This has led us to having a bin in our family room which has been coined ‘the inventors bin’. You may have seen this idea before … I have seen it floating around Pinterest a few times. Our inventors bin is nothing at all fancy, but my kids love it. Inside the bin we have clothespins, craft sticks, straws, pipe cleaners, various lids, small containers, some little springs that had fallen off of a toy, and oodles of other goodies — basically anything I stumble upon and think, ‘we could use that for something’ I pop in the bin.
The other day Sam was creating with this bin and sorted out the clothespins from the other supplies. We had done a craft with clothespins recently, so I thought he may be recreating it. But he wasn’t. He started clipping them along the edge of a cup and as he was talking as he played I overheard he was creating a castle. The combination of Sam lining the cup with clothespins and the word castle made me realize we could easily make a crown from pipe cleaners and the clothespins. Silly – I know – but these realizations make me so happy!
Once Sam was winding down his play I suggested we make a craft with clothespins. It really could not have been more simple … but it was adorable, and inspired even more imaginative play. I simply twisted two pipe cleaners together to form a ring the size of King Sam’s head. He then clipped the clothespins to the pipe cleaners.
This activity was excellent for fine motor development, problem solving (clipping them in a circle), and numeracy too! Once the pipe cleaners were full of clothespins the crown was complete. And the proud King wore his crown all day … and maybe in the bath as well.
I love drawing on the interests of my kids – they are full of awesome ideas! Whenever I am needing a little inspiration I just sit back and watch my kids play … within a few minutes I always have another creative learning activity in mind!
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