Pre-Writing Actions for Preschool Kids – WeAreTeachers
Pre-writing activities for preschoolers not only help our youngest learners learn the shape and structure of the letters in the alphabet, but they also serve a number of other functions. According to education blogger Lisette of Where Imagination Grows, the pre-writing practice teaches directionality in writing, promotes fine muscle development and coordination, and also helps students process sensory information that is critical to the writing process.
Here are 22 super fun, easy-to-do activities that your preschoolers will love!
1. Muddy Pocket Bag
All you need to make these awesome mind bags are resealable zippered storage bags, flour, water and food coloring. Children can use cotton swabs or their fingers to draw shapes, lines, and letters on the bag.
2. Bubble wrap
Source: coffee cups and colored pencils
What a great way to recycle all of that leftover bubble wrap! Just write a sharpie letter on bubble wrap and let kids pop for letter recognition.
3. Play doh snakes
Source: In my world
Children cannot resist the sensual allure of Play-Doh! For this activity, children can roll small balls of dough into long queues and form letters by bending and joining the snakes.
4. Play-Doh and drinking straws
Flatten a medium-sized piece of play-doh on a flat surface. Then use a pointed object to draw a letter on the flattened area. (Make sure the letter is big enough to be easily identified when you fill it with straws.) Cut plastic straws into 1-inch segments. Let the children “trace” the letters with the colorful straw segments.
5. Point markings
Source: 3 dinosaurs
Students use dot markers to practice the mechanics of writing and to get used to the angles and curves of letters. Click the link above to download 12 free pages of worksheets for prescribing point markers.
6. Cotton swab and paint
Source: Lessons Learned Journal
This is a fun activity that will help kids train their fine motor skills and learn the knack of that all-important pencil grip.
7. LEGO blocks
Source: Wildflower Ramblings
Blocks! Young children cannot get enough of building and creating with them. Use your creative energy to do good work with these free printable letter cards.
8. Shaving cream
Source: Chaos for Less
This classic activity is a great place to start for pre-writers. All you need is a tray and a can of shaving cream.
9. Glitter glue
Source: Growing children to touch
Before writing lines, there are important building blocks that every preschooler must master before learning how to form letters. Download this exercise on prescribing glitter glue for preschoolers.
Source: Artistic Mom
Just like the above, this activity will develop the fine motor skills your young students will need to start writing. However, instead of using glitter glue, students use inexpensive pony beads (available at any craft store) to follow the lines.
Source: Our little house in the country
One of the easiest activities your students can put together to practice prescribing is a sandpit. Children can use their fingers or an unsharpened pencil to practice writing. As an alternative to sand, you can fill your tray with salt, flour, cornmeal, or rice.
12. Squeeze the bottle
Source :: modeling clay for Plato
Fill a plastic bottle with salt or sugar and have students trace letters on cards.
13. Rainbow tray
Source: Where the imagination grows
This resource is so easy to create and kids will love it! Simply glue colored tissue paper in a rainbow pattern to the bottom of a clear plastic tray. Fill it with sand and as the children trace lines and letters, the colors below will become visible. The above picture shows the tray on a light table, which adds another dimension of fun to the activity!
14. Masking tape
Source: And next comes L
A roll of colored masking tape and a clear surface make this a fun writing activity.
15. Magnetic board
Source: Days of Gray
Stick letters on a magnetic board and let your little ones trace them with magnets. In the example above, the teacher made streets out of the letters and the students drove along them with their car magnets.
16. Lacing cards
Source: Teaching Mom
Grabbing a piece of string between tiny fingers and threading the end through the holes in a lace card is a great fine motor exercise for preschoolers. It also begins to build muscle memory to hold a pencil properly.
Preschool kids will have so much fun creating patterns, swirls, curls, and zigzags with colorful buttons. And they’ll build skills while they’re at it!
18. Label placement
Source: busy toddler
Preschoolers need to use a pinching motion that promotes fine motor skills to peel sticker dots from the page. Then they use hand-eye coordination to place each sticker on the drawn line. This activity would be perfect for a writing or leisure station.
19. Write your fingerprint
Source: Happy playtime for toddlers
Some kids may not like getting their fingers this messy, but others will love it! You will need poster paper and a palette of washable ink for this activity. Draw letters, shapes, and lines on a clean piece of paper. Then show the children how to dip their index finger on the ink pad and then follow the lines point by point.
20. Clipping clothespins
Source: Teaching Mom
Using a clothespin requires a lot of grip strength. This picture shows a student using a clothespin to choose the correct answer to a numbers problem, but any activity that involves cutting out will help them develop the fine motor skills needed to write.
Source: Game of the Wild
Cutting and snipping with scissors are great ways for kids to practice fine motor skills and control. Give your students plenty of opportunities to practice their cutting skills using paper, string, cardboard, and even play-doh!
22. Scratching paper
Crunching paper into a ball is great for building hand strength. Have your students use computer paper, newsprint, tissue paper, or wrapping paper. Then play a round of Paper Ball Day!
What are your favorite pre-writing activities for preschoolers? Share in the comments below.
Also, check out these amazing table sensory activities.