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Pin Punching Work

As Gus is getting older, he is spending more time refining some of the skills he needs to move on to bigger work in Children's House. One thing that he has been super into lately has been pin punching work. This work is excellent for working on pincer grip and hand-eye coordination. 

The purpose of this work is for the child to punch little holes very close to one another and eventually punch out a shape from a piece of paper. This seems simple, but it take a great deal of control to get the punches close enough that the shape will come away from the paper easily and without ripping. 

A look a Montessori pin punching work, a fun pre-writing activity for preschoolers

For Gus, it's been a great source of concentration, and if you watch my stories on Instagram, then you know it has been very popular with him lately. To make this simple tray, you'll need: 

  • A puncher - we use this one which mimics a pencil, but I've also seen people use large push pins with success 
  • Punching surface - we use a thick piece of felt but cork or other protective surface would work. You just want to keep the puncher from poking on the table 
  • Paper - I have traced simple circles for Gus, but older children can trace their own complex shapes to punch out. One of the art pieces hanging in our house is actually a pin punched world map that Henry made way back in Children's House. 
  • Pencil Holder - I've added a pencil holder to place the puncher into so that it doesn't slide all over when moved. I think it's just an added safety reminder to put the puncher back in a specific spot when you are done. 


Here the pieces that he punches out could actually be glued in the shape of a snowman on to another sheet of paper. Nora has done this many times but Gus isn't quite at the point of punching all of the shapes out at once. He tends to enjoy the work for the sake of the work and be less interested in the potential final project.

I love the concentration in this simple work. I also love that it is something that Henry and Nora can also pull out from our art shelves and use with as much effort as he uses. This work is preparing Gus for his eventual leap into writing.

A look a Montessori pin punching work, a fun pre-writing activity for preschoolers

One of the reasons I love Montessori is all this preparation work that goes into making sure a child is ready for more academic work. We aren't just handing them a pencil and saying "write" but we are giving them the tools in small steps as they are ready. So when that day comes it can happen effortlessly and with joy! 

Has your child enjoyed pin punching? What other pre-writing exercises does your child love?

A look a Montessori pin punching work, a fun pre-writing activity for preschoolers

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