Pin poking is such a fantastic way to strengthen little hands and help to develop concentration! My kids just adore both dinosaurs and pin poking, so naturally, I had to combine the two to create a fun set of Dinosaur Pin Poking Cards!
Dinosaur Pin Poking for Fine Motor Development
Why: There are several amazing benefits to offering pin poking activities to children. At my school, one common problem that our newest little friends face is that they have weak hand muscles and are unable to properly grasp a pencil, pen, or even scissors.
This is one of the reasons why activities like this are absolutely fantastic for children. They are always a part of my pre-writing activities that I emphasize throughout the school year in order to prepare children for writing.
These dinosaur pin poking cards were so much fun! Even my younger daughter was fully immersed in her work. While my six year old was able to poke out the dinosaur completely, my daughter explored the materials.
She is two years old and was more focused on learning how to hold the stylus, how to use it to perforate the paper, and was just plain overjoyed to see the result of her work.
I am sharing this little story to remind you that learning to use the materials properly is a process. I do not expect my two year old to be able to punch out the dinosaur along the outline. My six year old however has had a few years of practice and has more patience. He can do it and enjoys the work, but it is unrealistic to expect a child to sit down with this material and be able to complete it on the first try. You may want to leave the unfinished work out to remind them to continue it the next day.
Pin poking helps children to develop several important skills:
- Hand muscle strength
- Pincer grasp
- Fine motor skills
- Art and creativity (children can use the punched out materials to create artwork)
A note on safety
Whenever I present pin poking works, I always use a larger, jumbo stylus. This is because there have been cases of children swallowing small ones. Please, please, please never leave your students/children unattended when using such materials. Also, I only recommend using a large punch. I use these red ones I bought locally in the Netherlands, but Montessori Services sells beautiful hole punch strips. You can get them here.
Checkout our Dinosaur Bundle for more dino fun!
How to use:
You can demonstrate to your students how to use the material for the first time. Invite them to sit with you. Take the and punch out the shape on the card. You can hold up the card to the sun to see if there are more spots you can add a hole.
Then, pull out the shape you punched. Next, you can demonstrate that children can decorate the punched out shape. They can color it, add stickers, paint, etc. Whatever materials you wish to present can be used to create a beautiful, child-led piece of art.
Remember, the shapes they are poking out as well as the art afterward, are intended to offer the children a time to concentrate and develop their pincer grasp. This work is not about perfection, nor is it about the end result. It is about the process! They are learning from completing their work in their own way.
Materials you need:
- Foam block
- Pin punch (jumbo sized)
- Small bowl
- Optional: Tray for presentation
Presenting our Dinosaur Pin Poking Sheets
I try to present any activity neatly and logically. This is intentional so that a child will be able to see the spot that every item belongs in. This will make clean up (the last step of any work) easier.
If you are using them in a classroom, you can present several sheets on a paper tray or standing up neatly. This is an example of how I would present this at home. I simply put a few cards on the tray, alongside all of our other materials. Everything should have it’s own logical spot.
I place the pin puncher in a bowl to prevent it from moving around the tray or getting lost.
These cards are about the size of half a piece of paper. The dotted lines are black and are easily seen by the child.
Grab All of Your Dinosaur Pin Poking Printables
This set includes 10 different dinosaur cards!