Clothespin Drop

I first saw this idea on Chasing Cheerios and thought it would be perfect to try with Little Brother (1 year). He had a harder time than I originally anticipated he would with this activity, but it was great to see him trying to problem solve!
Months later, it is now one of our most beloved “toys” and Little Brother has definitely mastered it!
This simple activity provides great practice with fine motor control and spatial awareness. I had some felt out for a birthday banner I was making (details to come) and thought it would be fun to embellish it with some colorful dots! :)

Here’s what you’ll need:  doll pins (found with the clothespins at any craft store or just use regular clothespins) and a clean, empty 2-liter bottle. If you want to add the felt dots for embellishment, you’ll need some felt, scissors, and a hot-glue gun.

1. Cut a large square opening towards the bottom of the two-liter bottle.
2. Tear 4 pieces of paper towel to “pad” the sharp corners on each side.
3. Cover with duct tape–the leopard print variety is especially exciting. :)
4. Give your little one the doll pins and let them get started trying to put them in the top. I had to tilt the bottle at about a 45-degree angle to make it easier for little brother to put the doll pins in the hole.
The square opening at the bottom lets them take the doll pins out and do it all over again!

That’s it! This little activity is sure to beat any toy you can buy! :)

*Just a word of caution…make sure you are supervising this activity. Babies and young toddlers still love to put things in their mouth. The doll pins are longer, but still very slim. Try to make sure your child doesn’t put them in his/her mouth (or just stick a paci in his/her mouth like I did so there is no temptation). :)


  1. I just made this for my 14 month old son and he is sitting on the floor having a blast! Thanks so much. I did use some scrap felt since we don't use paper towels. :)

  2. My daughter LOVES this! We went with camo duck tape instead of leopard print, haha! My husband was so amazed that she had the motor skills at 1 year old to put the clothespins in.

  3. My son is suddenly interested in this activity at 13 months old. For a couple months, he has had fun dumping the clothespins out of an old mayonnaise jar and now he suddenly gets the concept of filling it. Thanks for the idea!

    1. Isn’t it funny how they “come into” toys? My boys could care less about some things, but wait a few months and reintroduce it…and you would think it was the best thing in the world! I’m glad your little guy is enjoying it. :)

  4. I just put this together for my 15 month old. She loves it! I didn’t have any doll pins, so I just gave her a handful of regular clothes pins and a handful of pom poms. She puts them in the top, then shakes them out the hole (I lined mine with felt and duct tape). Took a couple minutes to put together, and it’s already entertained her for 15 minutes. That’s a record for her. :)

  5. Great idea and so easy to make! I made this for my 18 month old daughter and she loves it! I let her decorate the bottle with stickers which was an activity in itself. I also used plastic colored clothespins so we can also practice the colors while playing.

  6. This is a great idea! Before I even cut the square hole in the side and added decorations, my little one put all the clothespins in and had a blast shaking the bottle and making noise with it. Then I showed him that the clothespins can come out if you shake it upside down. The furrowed brow as he attempted to shake the pins out was priceless. I decorated two bottles. One without a hole (for noisemaking and a challenge) and one with the hole (for “Mommy has a headache.” days). Lol!

    Oh and…
    Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

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