Friday, April 8

Creating Rubbing Plates From Pin Punching Cardboard

We created our own rubbing plates using just a few materials found around the house.

We used paper, cereal box cardboard (or similar thin cardboard would work) folded towels, pencils, cardboard shapes to trace, and extra large thumb tacks.

I had previously cut out a few shapes for my daughters to trace including a heart, star, and oval.
They began by choosing a shape and tracing it onto the cardboard.

Next we used the extra large thumb tack (which I had filed down just a bit beforehand). The tack is pressed into the cardboard following the tracing to make the holes as close together or far apart as the child prefers.

My oldest daughter made the holes pretty close together (shown here) while my youngest daughter spaced her's farther apart.

Once the shape has been pin punched, it is ready for rubbing. Turning the cardboard over, so that the raised holes can be felt, a piece of paper folder in half works well at keeping the rubbing plate in place, or tape the cardboard to the table and then tape the paper to the table over it.

Using block crayons and crayon rocks we rubbed the crayon over the cardboard and the shapes appeared.

My oldest daughter's star

An oval

My daughters also took a turn at drawing a shape and then pin punching their drawing and making a rubbing from that.

My youngest daughter created a design free hand using just the thumb tack with no drawing or tracing. She liked this process also.

A word about pin punching: Pin punching is a great activity for increasing concentration, fine motor control, increasing hand strength and development of the pincer grasp. Pin punching is a common Montessori activity used in work like map making. An older child is able to outline a shape with the holes close enough together to create a perforated line and the shape easily tears out. Pin punching out shapes requires a great amount of concentration, muscle control and persistence. Pin punching to create rubbing plates would be a great introduction to pin punching because it allows the child to space the holes farther apart, while still creating the desired outcome.


Anonymous said...

Great idea!

The story download is not working for me.

Thank you!

Mama EZ said...

fun! but where did you get the giant pins?

Tim said...

Love this! Thanks for sharing. I pinned this to my wall at

Amy said...

The giant thumbtacks came from Staples. Any office store should carry them though. And I use sandpaper or rub it against a rock or concrete to file it down a little.

I checked the download, so it should be working. Hopefully!

Rashmie @ MommyLabs said...

Yes, great activity to increase concentration and fine motor skills. Thanks for sharing the process in detail...

Jamie @ hands on : as we grow said...

This is a great way for your kiddo to start learning that they CAN draw and make shapes/letters. And great fine motor skills at work too!

I'd love for you to come over and play with us today at It's Playtime and link up this post!

Jamie @ hands on : as we grow