Encouraging Early Pen Control

Encouraging Early Pen Control

I like to introduce lots of different activities to Daniel and Emma as and when I can, and recently, following on from some things we were doing in a magazine, Daniel has shown some interest in some more defined pen control. Emma still very much likes to just scribble around, but Daniel is showing that he is able to better control the pen/crayon and can colour specific areas and also draw some lines.

I’ve been printing some worksheets for him from Twinkl to have to hand which have been great. As we went to Formby Beach last week, I have been looking for some beach related activities, books and the such. Activity wise I found some great maze type things on twinkl which are really simple but effective for developing pen control and some other bits and pieces.

When we were doing some of the activities on Monday I also got out a great book that we were sent by Priddy Books. I have written about Priddy Books before – there book are really good and both Emma and Daniel love them. This particular book isn’t aimed at Daniel’s age group BUT there are plenty of activities that we can do now and build on as we develop his maths knowledge.

The book, Everyday Maths is part of the ‘Play & learn with Wallace’ series and is a really effective book in terms of developing that early understanding of maths. It’s a wipe clean book (it comes with the pen) and there are lots of activities including sums, shape, size etc. I worked on some of the size and shape ones with Daniel and I was surprised just how much he understood. We talked about longer and shorter and he was able to identify (and circle) those that were the longer of the two items. There are also matching activities too which we were able to do.

everyday maths priddy book

What I like about this book is that it is durable and is wipe clean – meaning it can be reused time and time again. There is also a ‘learning ruler’ included which has measurements in centimetres and inches, plus both upper and lower case alphabets printed along it. Daniel is beginning to recognize some numbers and letters so this is good to help with that.

priddy books

I was really pleasantly surprised at just how much of this book we could work through, despite it being aimed at a much older age group – proof I suppose that our children and their capabilities can often surprise us – I’m keen to give opportunities where I can for both of them to show me what they can do, and are keen to develop.

everyday maths priddy books

Today we also received a lovely package of books from Usborne. One of these was a First Pen Control. This is also a wipe clean book (also comes with a pen). As soon as Daniel spotted the snail on the front he wanted to work on it! This one is different to the Priddy books one as it features a range of scenes and concentrates on different types of lines, so straight lines, circles, swirls etc. We were able to talk about some of the shapes we could see and I was thrilled that there was a page related to the beach, so we did some of the activities on that page to consolidate the learning we have been doing following the visit last week.

usborne first pen control

Emma was able to get involved in this one (by scribbling all over it!) and was thrilled to be involved in the activity and it was interesting to hear Daniel tell her to draw straight lines! You can see more of the book, as well as Emma’s attempts in the Vine below.

I really love these wipe clean books. I would never have bought these in the past, not being too sure how clean they do wipe up etc but I am really impressed with them. They have had a quick wipe with a microfibre cloth and look like new, so I can see we are going to have stacks of use from these.

The Usborne one is available for £4.99 here at the moment and there is also a great offer of four wipe clean books that I am *very* tempted to buy for Daniel and Emma – take a look here. I’m so impressed with them.

I’m thrilled that the team at Priddy Books are offering five of my readers a chance to win a copy of the Everyday Maths book. To be in with a chance to win, please complete the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway





  1. 3rd August 2015 / 13:49

    aaa these look fab, I love the Twinkl website too!! my youngest is showing great pen control and these look like they’d really help support that. thanks for sharing with #readwithme

  2. 3rd August 2015 / 18:03

    I love wipe clean books although some wipe clean better than others! Good to know that you were impressed with the quality of the books from these two publishers.


  3. 4th August 2015 / 15:01

    These look fantastic and I look forward to doing things like this with my little boy when he’s a bit older (he’s just turned 2). We have just bought him a Chalk board from IKEA to help encourage him to do mark making. The books look good quality and clear to use too. Amelia x #readwithme

  4. Anna H
    16th August 2015 / 20:27

    Thank you for the prize! We will enjoy working through it!

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