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I have a large selection of Priddy books wipe clean work books for young children and I have always been a huge fan of their products. Most of the books I have, have been for my oldest son and have helped him come along and has been something we have enjoyed doing together. This particular book I came across when looking for something for my youngest son. He had just turned three and still really struggled with his pen control. Even the concept of drawing a line up or down or a circle was stressful for him. His development is behind his peers and has always been so far.
The Roger Priddy Tracing and pen control work book is a wipe clean book consisting of a total of twenty eight wipe clean pages. The book is spiral bound and is slightly larger than A4 size. It measures roughly 29.5cms by 22.5cms perfect for lying open on a table or on the floor. It comes with a wipe-clean pen but to be honest it would be wise to invest in some better ones. The pen is quite small and seems to run out after a few uses. This particular book is recommended for children aged three years and above but personally I feel as long as you supervise your child with the pen it would be better to introduce it earlier. It is recommended to help develop reading skills, hand - eye coordination and fine motor skills.
As with all of the books in this range the book starts off with the very basics and quite often you find your child can whizz through the first couple of pages and gain their confidence. I knew this wasn't going to be the case for my son and it has been a working progress over the last six months but I have seen some big improvements one being he is beginning to enjoy drawing now. As always the inside page of the front cover gives the adults a brief introduction on how to use the book. Then the work begins. The first page is a basic tracing the dotted lines down from top to bottom. This is something most parents will take for granted their child can do this wasn't the case for my three year old. The bottom of the page a bit of fun is added to the technique with a series of balloons with dotted string underneath them for your child to complete. The use of simple to begin with and fun added in too is a great mix for a young child and keeps their concentration. I think pages and pages of different dotted lines would soon bore your child. Moving on from straight down lines we move onto across lines, diagonals, curves, straight line patterns which are more complicated and curved line patterns.
The first few pages are something that took my son a while to tackle but tackle he did and after a few weeks of using the book every couple of days I found improvement. His confidence wasn't very high and he needed my guidance but we saw improvement. These first few pages may be relatively easy for most children but moving onto the puzzles should add more fun for them. Matching pictures and linking lines still using that pen control they have learnt earlier. Once your child does have that much needed pen control the book moves onto shapes and tracing the shapes and tracing items that are that particular shape. The book covers squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, hearts, diamonds and stars. For example the page covering the circle has two basic circles at the top followed by three items that are circle shape to trace. There is an apple, a clock and a beach ball. Now my son has moved onto these pages he really enjoys tracing the actual items at the bottom of each page. It also helps with naming products and their colour too.
Moving on from shapes the book becomes a little more difficult and this is where my son is currently up to now. The book looks at tracing actually items that have more complex pen control. Each item has a picture of the real thing on the left followed by a dotted tracing picture on the right for your child to try. The first of these pages have a cat and a dog and it's about tracing their faces and ears. The items do become a bit more complex having different type of lines and curves to trace over as well as them been sectioned into topics, pets, bugs, things that move, at home, nature and toys. All topics that you find yourself discussing with your child and you find they will think of other things belonging in the topics. My son is really getting there and realising you have to take your time to achieve the pictures. The drum has a lot of close lines together and is the most complexed with the detail on the outside of it. My son is really enjoying doing the pictures though and is pleased with himself when he manages to accomplish them. The last pages of actual activities are three different picture scenes and your child has to complete them. My son really enjoys having a go at some of this. The first scene is a stream train on tracks in the country, the second a rocket going into space and the third the most complexed of the three is under the sea with fishes, crabs, star fish, bubbles, crabs etc. The last page of the book is a blank page for your child to create their own pieces.
I have been very pleased with this book for my son. For some it may seem like a waste of time and too simple for their child for my little boy pen control is something he really has had to work on. As well as him having slight delayed development he is also born at the end of August so will start full time school six days after his fourth birthday. The book has gradually built up the complexity of pen control as you go through it. To begin with we just used the first few pages but we have been able to go through the whole book now. I have always felt drawing is an important skill as a child drawing their own pictures is exploring their imagination. My first son loves drawing and always has from a very young age and hopefully my younger son is beginning to too. I have noticed recently he has begun to form shapes within his pictures rather than the scribble mass we were at before. I am not saying this book has worked miracles but it has helped me and my son understand the importance of pen control.
It is another great book by Roger Priddy. I love the wipe clean range they are easy to use and easy to clean so it can be done all over again. And if you forget to wipe it clean after use a small amount of kitchen spray wipes it away with ease. The book sells at £4.52 and for me it is well worth the price my son has had so much use out of it.