Peg play: why it’s good for children
A tub of colourful pegs can mean many hours of play and learning. Peg play is a fun way for children to:
- learn colours and counting
- improve fine motor skills
- engage in experimental play.
Most young children are fascinated by the way clothes pegs open and close.
What you need for peg play with children
You probably already have all the things you need for peg play with your child:
- clothes pegs
- small containers like plastic bowls or small buckets
- something your child can clip pegs onto, like a clothes rack
- small things for pegging, like socks or face washers.
How to do peg play with children
Here are ideas for peg play for your child:
- Peg small items on a clothes rack. The pincer grip your child needs for this action is similar to the one needed for learning to write.
- Sort pegs by colour into different containers. Encourage your child to name the colours. If your child can count, they could count the numbers of pegs of each colour.
- Experiment with sound. Try dropping the pegs into the bowls from different heights. Do they sound different? Do different bowls make different sounds?
- Practise sharing. Talk with your child about how you might share the pegs. Maybe your child can have the red and yellow ones, and you can have the blue and white ones. Maybe your child can share them equally between 2 containers – ‘One for you, one for me’.
- Be playful with the pegs. See how many pegs you can fit on your sleeve or on someone else’s. Peg them onto toys – Teddy might like a set of peg earrings. Can you make a chain of pegs joined together? Can you stack them?
Adapting peg play for younger children or children with diverse abilities
Your younger child might have fun just handling the pegs and trying to get them to open and close, or putting them into a tub and tipping them out again. This sort of play is important because it helps your child learn about the world around them and how they can make things happen.
All children learn and develop through play. Our articles on play and autistic children and play and children with disability are great starting points for adapting this activity guide for children with diverse abilities. You might also like to explore our activity guides for children with diverse abilities.