Preschool Clothespin Counting Activity-Free Printable

This preschool clothespin counting activity is a great way to work on counting, number recognition, hand eye coordination and fine motor development! As a developmental pediatric nurse I love that there are so many great learning skills fostered through this fun, simple activity.

bowl with clothespins and clip cards on table

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This activity is so simple. Just make your clip cards (or print out the free printable premade cards linked later in this post), laminate and play! This activity is perfect for busy bags, quiet time or a math center. It only requires paper and clothespins which makes it an incredibly frugal activity. 

If you are looking for a great activity for young learners (my 3 year old loves it!) this activity is for you! It is a simple activity that makes learning fun. 

counting cards and clothespins on table


  • Clip Cards- you either need printer paper or card stock and stickers or print off the free printable cards later in this post
  • Clothespins
child playing with clothespin counting activity

How To Make Your Clip Cards

If you are choosing to make your own clip cards they are very simple to make. It is fun to include your child in this part as well! 

  1. You simply need to cut out 10 large circles from printer paper or cardstock. 
  2. Write numbers 1-10 on the cards. I recommend writing the number in numerical form as well as alphabetical.
  3. Place the corresponding number of stickers along the edge of each card. I enjoyed choosing stickers that coordinated for each card (hello type A personality ;)).  
  4. Laminating your clip cards is a must do for this activity. The little fingers and clothespins can be hard on the cards. Ours are laminated and have held up exceptionally well over the years! This is my favorite laminator, it has been such a great purchase through the years, I highly recommend it.
Clip cards with clothespins attached

Preschool Clothespin Counting Activity

This activity is such a great preschool math activity and works on early learning math skills. It is a perfect quiet time activity for kids and a great choice for when they need to do independent work/play. 

Have your child take out the cards and match with one-to-one correspondence between the clothespins and stickers on the card. I recommend having your child count out loud while putting the clothespins on. This not only helps ensure they put on the correct number of clothespins but also reinforces counting skills. 

Sometimes clipping the clothespin on can take a little practice, but with some encouragement kids usually pick up on how to use them. If your child gets frustrated with the clothespins you could get larger clothespins which should make it easier for them to clip on. If the regular clothespin is easy for your child you could challenge them more with mini clothespins.

child playing with the clothespin counting  activity

Other Fun Ways To Use This Activity

  • Instead of clothespins you could use buttons, pom poms or a paper clip and have your child place these on the stickers while counting. There are so many items you can use that can give kids lots of fine motor practice.
  • Call out a number 1-10 and have the child find the corresponding card before pinning on the clothespin. This challenges them to recognize the numbers from a verbal prompt.
  • Write down a number 1-10 on a whiteboard or paper and have the child visually match the number with the correct clip card. This helps with a child’s visual processing skills.
  • Have your child put out the clip cards in numerical order before clipping the clothes pins on them 
  • If you have older kids another fun way to use this activity is by including the written number in a different language. Have the child count in that language as they put the clips on. Autism Classroom Resources has another great clothespin math activity for older kids if you are looking for additional options for early elementary aged kiddos.
clip cards on table with clothespins around it

What is My Child Learning During This Activity?

  • Number identification (reading the number written out numerically and alphabetically helps with number sense and identification)
  • Counting (one-to-one correspondence with the sticker or image)
  • Fine motor skills (building finger strength by pinching the clothes pin onto the clip card & hand-eye coordination)
  • Cognitive Skills (Including memory skills, concentration & visual focus)
printable cards for clothespin activity

Free Printable Clip Cards

If you don’t have time to make your own cards with card stock paper and stickers (because I know making meals, cleaning the house and being mom seems to absorb 99% of our time during the day) don’t fret, I have made free printable cards just for you! There is one card per page and they are labeled 1-10. All you need to do is print off these clothes pin cards, cut out, laminate and get some clothes pins and you are in business!

The link above should bring you to a PDF file that you can download and print at home. These are for personal use for your home or classroom. Enjoy!

Other Great Learning Activities

Craft Stick Pattern Activity 

Lego challenge cards (fun activity for older kids!)

Emotion flashcards with game ideas

Farm animal flash cards (awesome activity for younger children)

This preschool clothespin counting activity is one of my favorites and a go-to in our house. I hope your little one enjoys it as much as mine have!

pinterest pin for preschool clothespin counting activity

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