Developing Pencil Control

We often get asked about school readiness and writing. There are a variety of skills that children must master in order to be able to write. One of these is pencil control.

Here are some examples of activities that we will use at The Nursery at The Mall to encourage the strengthening and development of children fine manipulative skills. They’re also simple enough to do at home! We hope you enjoy trying them out.


Use a pair of child sized tweezers to pick up pom poms or cotton wall balls. If you don’t have tweezers then try using kitchen tongs, or chop sticks which have been tied at the top. For older children, you can combine this with things such as learning colours “can you use the tweezers to get all the red pom poms into the pot” or “can you tweezer four blues into the tub”.

If your child isn’t keen on trying the activity at first, think about their current interests and incorporate this into their play. For dinosaur fans, could the pom poms be food and your little one is the dinosaur zoo keeper who needs to use the tweezers to feed their dinosaur? Role play kitchen lovers can use the tweezers to pick up the hot food from their saucepan…the possibilities are endless and child led play is how we like to do things at our nursery.

Another simple idea, is to try threading penne pasta on to a piece of wool. If you’re feeling brave, get the paints out and paint the pasta first to create a beautiful piece of jewellery!