Toddler Fine Motor Game

Toddler Fine Motor Game

Need to entertain your one-year-old?

Grab your clothespins and paper rolls for this quick and easy toddler game.

One thing I have learned about my 18-month-old is that his mind is always focused on how things work, how things come apart, and just how far something will travel when it gets tossed across the room.

Through these observations, we discovered Clothespin Pull.

Related: 40+ Activities for One-year-olds


Now let’s recap.

It was 5:50. My husband wants to know what is for dinner and my boys won’t stop asking for a snack. No, crackers and left over candy canes are not dinner. I needed to get everyone out so I can navigate the kitchen.

I grabbed my stash of paper rolls (don’t worry, if you don’t have a stash they collect VERY quickly), and searched for something for my one-year-old to pull off. The squeezing, pulling and trying to reattach were also perfect for his fine motor grip.

RELATED: Stop the Google search and keep these ideas in your home for quick access.


Wait. Why Fine Motor Grip Now?

Having fun with activities that strengthen your toddler’s chubby hands now will help them with the tougher skills down the road such as writing, cutting, drawing, and even tying a shoe!

These skills take a lot of thinking and holding the hand steady.

If we take the time to strengthen the muscles now, they can focus on the harder parts like letter formation later.


activities for one-year-olds

Simple Set-Up:


  • paper rolls

  • clothespins - you could also use chip clips

Begin by offering your one-year-old (in this picture he is 18 months) about 5 paper rolls with the clothespins on top.

Watch your one-year-old take the clothespins on and off the paper tube.

You can encourage play a little longer with these phrases:

“Can you take the clothespin OFF?”

“Can you put the clothespins THROUGH the tube? Here, I can show…Now you do it.”

“Here, put the clothespins in this bowl” - offer a bowl as an extension

Pulling, pinching and grasping is a huge skill!

Get started today! You’re dinner will be ready in no time.

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