Clothespin Busy Bags for Fine Motor Strength

When kids struggle with weak fine motor skills, they can have difficulty in so many areas!  This post includes ideas for using clothespins and busy bags to improve fine motor strength.  We love using clothes pin activities for fun and engaging finger strength exercises.

Developing hand strength is an important skill for kids who struggle with manipulation of small items like buttons or zippers.  A child who struggles with handwriting can many times present with weak hand strength.  Trouble maintaining a pencil grasp, very light handwriting, switching hands when coloring or writing, using the whole arm to write, a closed thumb web space, and a distorted grip on the pencil are signs of weakness in the hands.  

But the trouble with working on improving hand strength is that many times, kids just don’t want to correct their pencil grasp or work on tasks that are hard to do like practicing zippers over and over again. 

Use busy bags to help kids develop and build fine motor skills like hand strength

One simple strategy to fix these strength issues is making the work fun.  Here are creative ways to use clothespins to improve fine motor hand strength.

Putting the activities together in a busy bag form can be helpful for therapists who need to quickly pull a strengthening activity from their therapy bag.  The fine motor busy bags below can be passed on to teachers to encourage development of fine motor strength in the classroom and at home.

These fine motor strengthening activities are busy bag ideas that can be used in therapy home programs or as part of fine motor activities that the whole class can benefit from!

Clothespin Busy Bags Fine Motor Strength Activities

We talked before about the fine motor strength benefits of clothes pins.  There are SO many ways to develop the specific grips needed for functional tasks using clothes pins.  Work on lateral pinch, tip to tip pinch, three jaw chuck using clothes pins.  Read more about the different pinch grips and how clothes pins help with strengthening by clicking the link above or this image:


Fine motor pinch grips and exercises to work on them using clothes pins, from an Occupational Therapist.

These fine motor strength activities use clothes pins.  Clothes pins are something that you can grab at the dollar store and easily adapt to activities of all sorts.  Make a busy bag that builds on learning concepts like math, literacy, colors, or patterns with activities that can be done over and over again in a busy bag!

Try these clothespin busy bag activities to strengthen the hands:

This Math Clothes Pin Activity by Beauty in the Mess works on math skills while strengthening the hand muscles.  
Match colored clothes pins with this Color Matching Activity by Mom Trusted.

Talk about weather using this weather themed clothespin activity that strengthens writing skills AND hand strength! 
Use clothes pins to count robots while strengthening those hands in this busy bag activity by I Can Teach My Child.
Attach spiny plates to a stegosaurus using clothespins in this Clothespin Stegosaurus by No Time for Flashcards. 
Match colors on a printable color wheel while strengthening the hand muscles with this printable color wheel by Frau Liebe.

Work on place value with a 1-100 math activity that uses the muscles of the hands in a superhero hand strengthening activity.
Match colored clothes pins to colored Mega Blocks in this color matching activity by LalyMom.

Match colors with a neat pincer grasp using very small clothes pins in this super fine motor busy bag from Powerful Mothering.

Address letter recognition while building fine motor strength in a busy bag using letters like Learn Play Imagine.

Making busy bags that work on specific skills WHILE addressing educational concepts such as math or reading are a powerhouse tool for therapists and teachers!  Make the busy bag ideas above and pass them on to teachers or parents who want to build hand strength.  Busy bag ideas like this are perfect for centers or home programs.

Occupational Therapists are always looking for activities that build specific skills and can be easily incorporated into the classroom.  Fine motor busy bags like these can be a powerful tool for the school based OT!

Looking for more ways to create fine motor busy bags for parents, teachers, or classrooms?  


Use clothes pins to help kids build and develop fine motor skills like hand strength.

Check out the video below for ideas to use clothes pins to develop fine motor skills. If you can’t see the video due to blockers on your device, check out our video on The OT Toolbox YouTube channel.

Working on fine motor skills, visual perception, visual motor skills, sensory tolerance, handwriting, or scissor skills? Our Fine Motor Kits cover all of these areas and more.

Check out the seasonal Fine Motor Kits that kids love:

Or, grab one of our themed Fine Motor Kits to target skills with fun themes:

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