Clothing Vocabulary Activities

On Sunday we talked a little about self-dressing and I gave you some links to help troubleshoot any dressing difficulties that your child may have. I also talked about Caleb’s need for some work on clothing vocabulary as he ran around trying to put his sister’s pants on as a shirt.

So, after getting my Pinterest on, I made a fun activity that we’re going to test run today that targets expressive/receptive language skills and fine motor fun. (Oh yes- fine motor exercises are most def FUN!).

Here’s what I made to help Caleb out (the idea for which I straight up copied from Pinterest ;)):

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Here’s what you need:


– Mini clothespins (less than $2 in the craft aisle at Wal-Mart)

– Box of any kind- plastic container, shoe box, etc. The one I used came with some plastic food toys that the kids got.

*Insider Tip: We love Melissa and Doug toys in this house. Most of them come in nice wooden boxes. I don’t keep the toys in them because there are no lids but always save the wooden boxes….one would be perfect for this.

– Sticks. For real. I was gonna go outside and take some from the yard but then found wooden dowels in the craft section that happened to be the perfect height for my clothesline for a whopping 74 cents (still Wal-Mart) so since it was even less effort than going outside, I went with that.

– Parachute cord. $2ish dollars. Again, craft aisle at Wal-Mart.

– Craft felt. I got a pack of 12 for $2.88 but you can buy individual sheets for 23 cents if you’d rather. You could also use construction paper but it won’t be as durable. (Can you guess where I got it?)

Clearly I need to give a shout-out to the Stuart, VA Wal-Mart.

Assembly is pretty straight forward. I didn’t even bother with glue and legit just taped the dowels to the box.

Cut and tied parachute cord.

Drew and cut clothing.

Added clothespins.

Easiest activity ever.



Here’s how you can use it!

Receptive Language: identifying colors, identifying clothing items, identifying prepositions (in the box, on the line, overunderbeside/next to), identifying size and comparatives (get the big/small shirt, find the longest dress), body part vocabulary to identify where each article of clothing belongs, and following directions (1,2,3, however many steps!).

Expressive Language:  labeling colors, clothing items, and all the prepositions and descriptive concepts I mentioned above.  Also responding to “where” questions to identify where we wear each item. And don’t forget requesting (I want the _____), and commenting.

Fine Motor Skills:  hand strengthening by pinching the clothespins open. These are small so it won’t take much effort to open them but try hanging up some yarn across some dining room chairs and have your little one practice hanging up actual clothes with regular sized clothespins. Strengthening the muscles in the thumb and pointer finger will help get ready for writing!

And a million other things, certainly, but this is an awesome place to start!

We have something else planned to entertain ourselves with today, also. Monday I posted on the Facebook page that I found a sweet clothing game for $3 in the bins where you first enter the store at Target. I broke it out last night to see how I could adapt it to a 3-year-old with special needs and was pleased to realize that very little would need adapting. Here’s what your $3 investment will get you:


– 36 pairs of brightly colored underpants

– 4 laundry trays

  • – a stand-up washing machine
  • Also, I was anticipating that since the game was so cheap, that I’d need to laminate flimsy pieces but everything is made of really sturdy cardboard so it’s good-to-go.

Here’s how to use it:


You turn all the underpants over and then randomly select them to fill up your tray (or you could skip that step and just put some on your child’s tray). Spin the spinner and if you have that color underpants, you get to put them through the washing machine. If you land on the bubbles, you get to holler out “WASH MY UNDERPANTS!” and the player has to fill back up their tray from the washing machine’s stash. I think Caleb will need me to make him a visual for what to do when he sees the spinner on the bubbles. If anyone is interested, I can upload what I come up with! Just let me know.

What you’re targeting:

Receptive Language: identifying and matching colors, following directions, identifying quantity concepts (who has more/less/most/least)

Expressive Language: labeling colors, labeling quantity vocabulary, commenting/requesting, pronouns for my/your turn

Pragmatic Skills:  waiting for someone else’s turn, impulse control, being a good sport

Fine Motor: pincer grasp to get the underpants off the tray and into the washing machine (no OT cheating by sliding them off to the edge of the table!), strengthening/coordination spinning the spinner

That’s a lot ya’ll could accomplish for just $3!!!!!

Don’t forget to check out my Pinterest boards for more Clothing and Body Part Vocabulary ideas as well as more Fine Motor Activities to do with Clothespins!

Before I go, if anyone has even the slightest interest in doing either of the above activities and would like a communication board made to use if your child is pre-verbal, I’d be HAPPY to make one and post it.

Thanks, everybody!