Your children are going to love this Push Pin Literacy Center in Spanish! It is an awesome fine motor activity that also reinforces proper pencil grip. What makes this so fun is the dangerous tool they get to use. hehe
Setting up the Spanish Push Pin Literacy Center:
You will only need six things to set up your Chinchetes center.
- Push pins
- “Chinchete” Push Pin printables
- Colored Paper
- Staple remover
- Painter’s Tape
For the push pins, I would recommend one of these two options:
2. A pencil grip with a small push pin inside
We have these stetro grips with a star on the thumb. I bought them at a handwriting conference almost 20 years, so I can say they are a good brand. hehe There are now all sorts of options for pencil grips, I have just not personally tested them to make sure that a push pin would fit inside.
- To prepare Push Pin Printables
The printables work great on a half sheet of paper. We always copy them on recycled paper, because the top page will just get thrown away.
Use a half sheet of colored paper under them to match the theme. For example, below you see a sample of our color push pin printables for orange week. We stapled orange paper under, so it will look like this:
I have two boys that love to trace! They wanted to trace their papers with the corresponding marker color first. It’s not necessary, but it also doesn’t hurt anything. I thought it might make the paper too thin to punch, but it didn’t.
How to Introduce the “Chincetes” Push Pin Literacy Center in Spanish
I always make a big deal when introducing this for the first time. “You are growing up so big and responsible that I can show you how to use these pins. They are not pretend. They are real, and very sharp. If you poke your finger with this, blood will come out. You need to watch very carefully as I show you how to use these.”
Believe me, there will be silence. hehe
I go through the whole routine.
- Get your paper and push pin.
- Walk carefully to the rug. (I stop here and explain that these pins are SO sharp, they can scratch the tables and floors, and make holes in our foam mats. That is why it is VERY important that children go to the rug. If you don’t have a rug, a piece of foam, styrofoam, or cork board would also work. The pins just need something to stick into! Remember, you can usually get carpet square samples very cheap or even free from home improvement stores.)
- Find a place to lay down. (I explain that writing is hard work! We not only use our finger muscles, but our arms, shoulders, abs, and back. By laying on our stomachs to do this job, it helps make ALL of those muscles stronger.)
- Hold the pin just how you should hold your pencil. (We are using pencil grips where their “thumb goes on the star,” so it takes some explaining to figure out.)
- Use the pin to poke holes to make the words and picture. (I like to make a big deal out of the sound that it makes. If you’re excited about these little things, they will be too.)
- Make sure you finish! (Sometimes, if they stop for a minute to rest their hands, they forget where they were working. Demonstrate how you can turn your paper over to see if you missed any spots.)
When they are finished they carefully put away their pin, then take out the staples. I keep a staple remover right in the box. They can throw away the top page and staples. Next comes the best part!
Hang your push pin art in the window, and watch the sun shine through!
We have a special window dedicated to displaying our weekly push pin art.
Just a hint: The blue painter’s tape doesn’t leave a sticky film at all. If you take the pictures off gently, you can reuse the tape many times.
This is a wonderful center because once they get the hang of it, just change out the pictures and you can have a new independent station every week. Colors are just the beginning! We are hoping to make an entire year’s worth of push pin printables for you to choose from. Leave a comment letting us know what you would like to see next.
Included in our Pasitos Preschool Program are three versions; English, Spanish, and Bilingual. (Notice they come two per page.)
We are using the bilingual version, and it is the most challenging. It was difficult for my 5-year-olds the first two weeks, but they caught on quickly.
You don’t want to discourage your children with something developmentally inappropriate, but having to work hard at something and persevere is a very important life skill.
If your children’s hands gets fatigued, have them take a break and shake it out. You could also break this up over two days, English one day/Spanish next day, or pictures one day/words next day.
Watch them closely, cheer them on, and be flexible!