Literacy · Mathematics · Science

Pencil Control?

This is probably not a subject expected to be seen in your standard Montessori Set Up/Curriculum for a freshly turned 3 yr old. It’s not. There are various ways 3yr old can practice letter formation at 3 if the child is ready; one of which is the use of Sandpaper Letters, the other is using Sand or other fine, loose dry material that the child can copy letter shapes onto using their finger. L enjoys both of these works, but she also loves to write and draw with pens and pencils and has done from a very young age. We started providing art materials for L when she was just 4 months old, it was sensory exploration more than anything, but we allowed her access to a wide range of materials and process was much more important than the finished product. By the time she was 18 months old we noticed she was occasionally holding her pencil or pen with a pincer grip.


This has only continued to improve and become more frequent as she has gotten older and now it’s how she will hold her pens, pencils, chalks etc whenever she picks them up. It’s been interesting to observe. As she has gotten older she has taken more interest in letters and often asks to write, so going against tradition I started looking for pencil control worksheets for her to copy after she started doing such things independently in magazines we buy for her. It’s an activity she obviously enjoys and I want to nurture that, so every so often, if she will get a magazine from the shop and she will go ahead and do the activities in them herself, or if there hasn’t been a magazine, I print some off for her to work with.

This morning she decided to do one of her practice pages and one of the pages from her plant life-cycle control sheet. When she was finished she came to me and said “Here you go Mummy, that’s not so bad, is it?” I couldn’t help but chuckle, it’s what I say when I clean up a graze or put cream on her eczema…



I have a folder for any work done on paper, as something for her to look back on when she’s older and a “just in case” situation with officialdom. It’s also the main reason I have our Facebook Page and this blog. All records.

This morning L also chose to do a little bit of bead stair work. This is a fairly popular activity at the moment.


Yesterday evening we tidied up Tot School a bit with Daddy’s help and rearranged the room to give a bit more floor space. L said it looks nice, so I’m glad she’s pleased. Right away though she wanted to get some of her work out. This is her other favourite work at the moment, it’s been used a LOT. This work can be found over on 3 Dinosaurs Blog!


I think the different steps to achieve the goal is something she really enjoys as there are a few practical elements involved. First she rolls the dice, then she counts the dots (yay for addition work without her even knowing she’s doing it!), then she finds the corresponding number symbol on the shark followed by scooping up a glass bead with her spoon and placing it on the number. Gross Motor Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Maths and some minor Problem Solving.

Sticking with her Ocean themed works she got her Ocean Toobs and Cards out for some object to picture matching and then extended it afterwards by reading some facts about each of the animals. I’m trying to remember where the printable is from, I will add it in when I figure it out!



The book is from a collection set I bought from The Book People – It is £30 for 30 books on a whole variety of topics and can be found at this link: Everything I Need To Know…
I plan to do a review of the whole series this week, it’s been a while since I reviewed something.

Next week we are going to make good use of all the Ocean Learning we have been doing by going on a day trip to The Deep in Hull! L is just dying to see some sharks and rays 😀 Let us know if you’ve been, we’d love to see some pics.

Spoonie Mum





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