Get Students Ready
Pick a time in your classroom day when children are neither antsy nor fatigued from long times of play outside. Finding this happy medium may not be easy, but the time just before lunch or after the midmorning nap may be perfect. Get children ready for their forays into early writing by discussing what makes letter practice so important. Talk about the need for writing letters, grocery lists, and also a beloved pet’s name on its cage or collar, to ensure that it will not get lost. Once the kids are on board, you are ready to get started.
Early Writing Activities
Honing the Pincer Grip
Get little hands and eyes ready with some quick games for eye-hand coordination. Offer bowls of fruit loops or cheerios, as well as long string, and encourage the youngsters to make long necklaces from the foods. Preschoolers must use repetitive pincer grips to place the cereal onto the string, and focusing as well as eye-hand coordination are now practiced.
Transitioning from Crayon to Pencil
Preschoolers are old hands at drawing with fat crayons that do not require the amount of hand control even a preschool sized pencil demands. Gently ease children into the mood by offering a plastic plate covered with ketchup to each child. Hand each child a chopstick, which you may be able to pick up for free from takeout Chinese restaurants. Encourage the children to draw designs with the chopsticks on the ketchup covered plates. The goal is to get kids who might be apprehensive about writing practice to see it as just another form of artwork, albeit with a number of rules attached. Encourage the formation of straight lines, working from the left side to the right.
As you are finally ready to get down to writing business, use worksheets with dotted lines; always stress that children must work from the left side of the paper to the right. While proper adherence to the dotted lines comes with time, the left to right motion must be observed now. Begin with straight lines and then graduate to zig zag and also curved lines. Eventually, you will offer a mix of these. Also incorporate copious lines of short diagonal lines that aim from left to right and right to left.
At last the children are ready for their first letters with the help of connecting the dots. These early writing activities help kids to make the first universally recognizable letters, and you should allow the children to devote time and effort to these exercises. Making neatness count now will pay huge dividends when, most likely in third grade, the first forays into cursive writing are made. Do not be afraid to ask children to fix their letters until they get them right. As a class, do not move on from one letter to the next, until you are confident that each child has shown some mastery of the shape.
At Home Preschool Writing Activities
Bright Hub’s own Laurie Patsalides – in her article entitled “Helping a Kindergartener With Writing at Home" – points out that early writing and connecting the dots activities are not merely reserved for the classroom, but must also be practiced in the home. As an educator, send home continuous progress reports that help parents understand what is being worked on in the classroom. Additionally, offer suggestions not only for the nuts and bolts preschool writing activities, but also for those exercises that lead up to actual writing.
This post is part of the series: Early Preschool Writing Activities
- Honing Fine Motor Development in Preschool With Writing Activities
- Four Fun Preschool Activities That Provide Early Writing Practice