Friday 9 December 2011


Montessori Activity: Practise Pencil Grip with Tracing

Age: From 2.5 years old

Objective(s): To develop good pencil grip


1. Kumon My First Book of Tracing


1. Show your child to tracing from one object to the next.
2. Talk about asking your child to help baby kitten find mommy cat, or baby bunny find mommy rabbit.
3. Encourage your child to try.

Additional Information:

J does not have much chance of practising his pincer grip. This is because he is not fond of art - which means painting, drawing, colouring, etc. I tried to encourage him, but it just isn't his interest. He also wasn't interested in learning how to hold a pencil using the pincer grip, no matter how I tried to encourage him. He just prefer to use his fist!

I saw some home-schooling moms using this book, and they described it as being very well designed. I bought it from Amazon:

When it arrived. I thought it was really well-designed and full-coloured, and too nice and wasteful for J to scribble in it. I kept it for a few months, silly me wasn't it!!! I bought the book, but parked it aside, because it was too nice. It reminded me of someone who bought a Mercedes, but could not bear to drive it, and have it nicely covered in his garage.

I thought I will make photocopy of it and let J scribble on the photocopies, but of course, I didn't manage to find time to do it. Finally I pluck up my determination to let J JUST USE THE BOOK.

To my great amazement, J LOVES this book. He could go on pages after pages, and he did this more than one, and in fact many times. Usually for Montessori activity, he gets bored with it after one or two sessions.

He also was willing to listen when I showed him how to hold the pencil using the pincer grip. I am not sure whether it was just a coincidence that he is now developmentally ready or my determination of getting J to learn pincer grip or the excellence of this book in motivating toddlers and preschoolers, but he did. And he scribbled most of the time using his pincer grip on the book. I think it was about 1 or perhaps 2 months later, J's ability to draw improved a lot. He (2Y9M) now manages to draw a full circle closing the ends nicely.

It was actually his daycare teacher who wanted me to take home a drawing that J made today for memories, and she was full of praise for him. I asked if J actually drew that himself, as he never did that at home. She said yes, and she didn't help him at all.

I didn't know that it was a great leap in development to be able to draw a full circle. She mentioned that he drew very nice circles, cover the full page of the sheet, and at the same time stayed within the frame. She said that this shows that J's brain has developed and that he is now a child, no longer a toddler.

Kumon was developed by a Japanese. Here are some excellent pages from the book which J scribbled:


J completed the whole book on 15 March 2012. He was 3 years and 10 days old (3Y10D).

Baby FECS tried this book for the first time today 6 November 2019 (3Y5M15D)

Baby FECS tried it for the first time today 6 November 2019 (3Y5M15D)

6 November 2019 (3Y5M15D): The Danish kindergarten teacher told me today that she was very impressed with C's pencil grib, that she could draw a face with eyes and mouth. It seems that she is one of the few in her group who could draw a face. I didn't dare to tell the her that C does homework almost every evening holding a pencil, as it is frown upon in Denmark to do homework for such young children. So I smiled and thank her very much for the kind feedback. 

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