Creating patterns by making points and using a pin or tool to prick through paper.

Paper pricking is one of Froebel's Occupations - creative activities and experiences for young children.

"Through the Occupations, children can:

  • represent, be inventive and engage creatively and imaginatively
  • build their physical competencies
  • make links to everyday life, nature, knowledge and understanding
  • be empowered to move from the here and now to the abstract (so laying the foundations of literacy and mathematical understanding)
  • develop dispositions and attitudes that will benefit them in the adult world of work."

Prof. Tina Bruce and Jane Dyke, Learning from Froebel (2017)

Paper pricking can be a helpful bridge, supporting children to move from the Occupation of drawing to sewing. Using a blunt 'needle' or pricking tool children can create pierced paper 'drawings' or patterns.

Children can make their own pictures or patterns - or a printed picture, pattern or photo can be placed (as a guide) over a piece of plain card (and a felt or cork board). The child can prick through the picture. Their pinhole or perforated 'drawings' can be held to the light to reveal the patterns and shapes they've made.

Paper pricking. Children develop more precise motor skills before trying sewing.


Developing coordination, making points - using a needle and learning to sew with guidance from an adult


Froebel's own example of paper pricking from 1824. From the collection held at Froebel Archive for Childhood Studies.


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