Home » Uncategorized » Kids' Corner » 10 minute Crafts: Pipe Cleaner Caterpillars & Fine Motor Skills

10 minute Crafts: Pipe Cleaner Caterpillars & Fine Motor Skills

A few weeks ago, we had a review of Jumpy’s progress at pre-school. She is doing well, although she would rather hang out with adults than other children. She also has to improve her fine motor skills and tripod grip.

I had to look up ‘tripod grip’ I have to say. In short, it the correct way to hold a pen or pencil and most children should be able to hold their pencil that way (thumb, index, middle finger) between the ages of 3 and 4. When using a correct tripod grip, your child’s range of movement when drawing or mark making is at its best and their little hands tend not to get as tired as they would get otherwise.

To help Jumpy (3 years 5 months) develop the fine motor skills that will lead to the sought-after tripod grip, I have been encouraging fine motor movements a lot more. The more she uses those small muscles in the hands and fingers, the stronger they will get. I also get Beanie (5 years 6 months) and Crevette (7 years 8 months) involved as my little man’s handwriting really needs improvements, and Beanie is at that stage where she wants to write all the time, so they can all benefit from the activities.

Yesterday, we focused on pincer grip (being able to hold objects between thumb and index finger), which generally develops between 12 and 15 months of age, making it the perfect activity for my four children (Wriggly is 21 months old).

10 minute Crafts -  Pipe Cleaner Caterpillars - Fine Motor Skills

If you are after an activity to encourage fine motor skills and more specifically pincer grip, then this short activity is for you!

10 minute Crafts -  Pipe Cleaner Caterpillars

What You Need:

Pipe cleaners in a range of colours
Nail clippers
Pony beads
PVA glue (white glue)
Small googly eyes


What to Do:

Start by cutting a pipe cleaner to your preferred length with nail clippers.

10 minute Crafts -  Pipe Cleaner Caterpillars - Cutting Pipe Cleaners

Some of ours were made using half a pipe cleaner, others using 1/4 of a pipe cleaner.

10 minute Crafts -  Pipe Cleaner Caterpillars in Diferent Sizes

Thread one bead on the cut pipe cleaner and keep it in place by twisting the end.

Let your child have fun threading beads, whether they choose to make their caterpillars one colour or a range of colours.

10 minute Crafts -  Pipe Cleaner Caterpillars to Improve Fine Motor Skills

Leave just over a cm (about ½ inch) of pipe cleaner at the end and curl up, sharp end of the pipe cleaner tucked into the last bead.

Stick the googly eyes with white glue.

10 minute Crafts -  Pipe Cleaner Caterpillars in Diferent Sizes - Quick & Easy

To make it look more real, simply bend your caterpillar so it looks like it is inching along!

10 minute Crafts -  Pipe Cleaner Caterpillars - My Hungry Little Caterpillar

If you are looking for quick and easy activities to do on a rainy day with your children, why not try our bunny garland, hatching dragonswashi tape cards, toilet paper roll bunnies, reindeer lanterns, cute button card, paper cup dragon, finger painting, bath painting, thumbprint art, heart-themed crafts, an embroidered canvas , a stained-glass picture or even make your own play dough?

Disclosure: Bostik sent us a selection of crafting supplies free of charge as part of the Tots100/Bostik Craft Bloggers’ Club. All photos and opinions are my own.



  1. Lindy
    12/04/2016 / 9:50 am

    those are too cute! I need to start crafting with Squidge a bit more- she loves it sooo much.

  2. Deborah Nicholas
    23/04/2016 / 7:52 am

    You learn something new every day – we have 6 children and have never heard it called tripod grip – love it and it really does make sense doesn’t it!! These are too cute and something I will definitely be trying with my girls! Thank you for joining in the #minimakes link up!!

    • Mel
      23/04/2016 / 11:10 pm

      I’d never heard it with the older 2 either… had to Google it, he he!

  3. Cal at Family Makes
    24/04/2016 / 1:07 pm

    What a great little craft, and so good that it is suitable for a wide range of ages. I love the end result too, really cute! Great to see you on the #minimakes link up.

    • Mel
      27/04/2016 / 8:08 pm

      Thanks lovely. We had a great afternoon making them as we were waiting for our ‘real’ caterpillars to arrive through the post.

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