There are many things you can do to refine your child’s pencil grip and hand-eye coordination BEFORE giving her a pencil and paper to begin writing. This fun activity is a favorite pre-writing exercise that helps build on those skills long before your child can read and write.
I wrote L’s name on some pieces of cardstock and put one on a tray with a small bowl of uncooked black-eyed peas. I told her that the letters spelled her name, and we traced them with our fingers. Then I put a line of glue on the first letter and showed L how to line up peas along the glue on the letter.
When the entire first letter had the peas glued on, I put glue on the second letter and we repeated the activity. We continued to do this one letter at a time until the whole name was finished.
This was the finished product the first time L did it. Each time since then, it has become more refined. The peas are small enough that the child must use the same grip she would use to hold a pencil correctly, and lining them up on the letters works on her hand-eye coordination. Older children can put the glue on by themselves, which would further develop those skills as well as building hand strength.