Clip-On Paint Chip Names

Activity for ages 3 to 5.

My almost 3 year old is obsessed with his name so, to help him practice spelling it, I headed to my local hardware store. With just a few supplies, I quickly whipped out this paint chip clothespin name activity.  Its a good thing this took a mere minutes to prep because my kiddo could barely wait to get his hands on it.

Clip on Names

Getting Ready

For this low cost activity, I gathered some wooden clothespins, my glue gun, a permanent marker, an empty tin can, and a few paint chips from the hardware store.

I used a 1 inch circle punch to cut out 5 circles – one for each letter in my son’s name.


Using a black permanent marker, I wrote each letter on one circle and glued it to the bottom of a wooden clothespin.

Once all the clothespins were ready I placed them in the tin can {any container you can clip onto would work} and Q was ready to play.

Clip On Names

I told my son that all the letters in his name were in the can. He needed to figure out which letter to clip on first.  My almost preschooler loves the fine motor challenge of clothespins and eagerly searched around the can for his first letter.  Once he found the Q, it took a few tries to maneuver the clip onto the edge of the can.


Occasionally, he would place the letter backwards. It was definitely tricky to get the letter to face the correct way.


I loved that squeezing the clothespin and turning his hand helps strengthen his hand for future writing.

It only took a minute or two to complete his name but he loved it so much he quickly repeat it a few more times before asking me to make clothespins with his sister’s name on it.

Quick, low cost, and engaging – I see a trip to the hardware store in your future!

Find More

For more name game fun, check out 25 of our favorite name activities from across the web.

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1 Comment

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Hi, I’m Malia.

I LOVE helping Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers save time, stay inspired and give EVERY student bigger results. I’m so glad you’re here!

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