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Crafts And Conversation: Clothespin Dragonfly With The DUCK Lab

Get crafty with the DUCK Lab! Each Friday, trained research assistants from the UNCG Psychology Department’s DUCK Lab will guide at-home crafts for children ages 3 to 12. Parents can join too to learn fun facts about crafts that foster age-appropriate skills or learn about the DUCK Lab’s nonprofit child development research projects. We will also be at LeBauer Park on Saturday with some to-go craft bags to make crafts at home!

This Friday, the DUCK Lab invites all elementary age friends to join Faith and make a clothespin dragonfly! Follow along as Faith takes you through each step and see how you can make fancy wings for your dragonfly from a pipe cleaner!

Parents, did you know?

This craft offers an opportunity for children to think about and reflect on their own abilities and knowledge. Read on below for more info. about the connection between these types of activities and age-appropriate developmental milestones.

We also invite you to check out our child development research opportunities, which are now modified for the virtual world! Please click here to learn more or sign up to participate with us.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:


  • Clothespin

  • Two pipe cleaners

  • Googly eyes

  • Glue dots or glue

  • Markers


  1. Decorate the clothespin with markers.

  2. Glue googly eyes onto the clothespin near the edge of the clip opening.

  3. Bend the ends of each pipe cleaner into the center to form two loops and twist at the center to keep the ends in place. These will be your wings.

  4. Criss-cross the pipe cleaners (one over the other) and clip them in the clothespin.

The DUCK Lab: Clothespin Dragonfly

Relation to Developmental Science:

In late childhood, children increasingly understand and are aware of their own knowledge (also known as metacognition). This ability allows them to approach complex tasks effectively, employ helpful strategies for those tasks, and acquire the correct resources for task completion. In the context of this craft, children above 9 years of age could likely figure out how to complete this craft successfully without explicit instructions. For example, they might recognize that it would be easier to first bend the pipe cleaners, prior to attaching them to the clothespin. Additionally, older children could likely excel at choosing alternatives if craft materials are not readily available, such as straws or other flexible items to replace pipe cleaners.

*Great for kids of all ages!

The DUCK Lab is a partner in the nonprofit Child Development Research Center in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. They conduct studies of social and cognitive development with 2- to 12- year-olds. Families who participate in their research studies are volunteers in the Greensboro community who generously offer their time to help support research and training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

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