Image by: Kenneth Leung

Figure Out Beans

Age Range
3-8 yrs
Setup Time
2 minutes!
Setup Location

During preschool and kindergarten, children are introduced to writing and art projects that require precision writing and cutting. Success with these activities depends on strong fine motor skills, which are honed through practice. Encouraging your child to practice tracing will help him develop important muscles in his fingers and hands, as well as improve coordination between his dominant hand (the hand that holds the pencil or scissors) and his non-dominant hand (the hand that steadies the paper being written on or cut).

Pencil grip is one of those things that is really hard to re-teach if kids initially learn it incorrectly. Though every child will end up settling on a pencil grip that works best for him or her, introducing the standard “tripod” grasp (pinching with thumb and index finger while resting on middle finger) is a good place to start. However, this can seem virtually impossible when you’re dealing with five- and six-year-olds who don’t even know their left from right, let alone how to divide up their fingers into different positions!

This activity will provide your child with the opportunity to practice the pencil grip using fun material like glue and beans!


  1. Draw a simple picture on a piece of construction paper with a pencil

  2. Ask your child to trace the pencil lines with glue

  3. Next, glue the beans onto the design. Gripping the beans with their fingers is good fine motor practice

Disclaimer: This presents an overview of child development. It is important to keep in mind that the time frames presented are averages and some children may achieve various developmental milestones earlier or later than the average but still be within the normal range of development. This information is presented to help parents understand, at a high level, what to expect from their child. Any questions/concerns you may have about your child’s development should be shared with your doctor.