Using pegs for fine motor activities is a great way for the development of muscle control in a small child’s hands. You can create many fine motor activities using pegs that don’t cost a lot of money – this is one such activity.

In our special class for autistic pupils, we came across this cardboard tube, I’m unsure what it was used for, and we thought that it would make a perfect early morning fine motor control activity. This was a simple activity – the pupil was given a set amount of clothes pegs in a dish and they had to peg them to the top of the cardboard tube. It sounds simple enough, but if you have poor fine motor control, this could be a challenging activity.

It’s important to understand that autistic pupils need to know when this activity is finished, so by just giving the pupil a set amount of clothes pegs, they will know that they are finished when all of the pegs are attached to the top of the cardboard tube.

There are also many ways in which this activity can be varied or made more challenging for the pupil:

  • increase the number of pegs to be attached
  • change the type of peg used, varying it with pegs of different textures
  • change the size of pegs used, varying it with larger and smaller pegs
  • when the pupil has attached all of the pegs to the cardboard tube, get them to return all of the pegs to the peg container
  • get the pupil to do this activity using only one hand, varying it between their dominant hand and their weaker hand
  • attach small spot stickers near to the top of the cardboard tube, indicating to the pupil where exactly they are to attached the pegs
  • attach coloured spot stickers near to the top of the cardboard tube, where the pupil has to match the same coloured peg to the coloured spot

This is just one idea for using clothes pegs to create a simple activity to promote the development of fine motor control.