May 27, 2014

Everyday Learning for Toddlers: Paper Clips

Learning with Paper Clips

One day I was sitting at my desk printing and clipping coupons when one of the girls came in and wanted to sit next to me. I let her sit on the stool while I stood up and cut my coupons. She drew with some of my colored pens and then spotted my colored paper clips. I took out a few and let her play with them.

I have tried on more than one occasion to come up with structured lessons that the girls and I could do together. However, as 2 year olds, they are not all that patient with that kind of activity.

Not all learning has to be in a sit down structured setting. You can often teach your toddlers the skills they need for pre-school in your everyday activities. Basic office supplies are the only thing needed for this activity.


  • Different colored paper clips
  • Paper

Skills Learned:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Colors
  • Counting

What I did:

I noticed that she was lining up the paper clips and trying to count them so I stopped and helped her count, making her repeat each number after me. The I started asking her the colors of the paper clips. When she seemed to get tired of me quizzing her, I showed her how to use a paper clip and let her practice her fine motor skills putting paper clips on a piece of paper.

See? Three skills in one sitting! Easy peasy.

DISCLAIMER: Only you know your child well enough to know if they can handle playing with small objects such as paper clips. I highly recommended adult supervision with this activity for children under 3.


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