Toothpick Writing

As the title states, today you are going to let your little one poke out a letter using a toothpick.
Safety first on this one ya’ll…if you dont feel comfortable letting your little one use such a tiny, sharp tool, then use a pen/pencil even a mechanical pencil.
Nonetheless, you are going to use the “Tracing the alphabet” template from “Formation, Formation, Formation” to trace and then use a toothpick to poke through all the holes that make up the letters. This is a great way to reinforce the letter formation because children spend a lot of time concentrating on each letter so it really helps them to recall the letter forms in the future.
Make sure you talk about each letter so that they attach the letter name to its shape.

Tracing the alphabet

Formation Formation Formation

I recently went to an “Arty Party” in which the teacher gave us step-by-step instructions on creating an original piece of artwork that she showed us in advance. Throughout the party, the instructor came around and guided us in our progress to ensure that we were on the right track. Before the party, there was no way I could have created the landscape of a sunset on a horizon with trees near and far, but now that I have experienced the process with the steps modeled for me, I think I could re-create it if you asked me to.
I share this story because it is the same for children when it comes to letter, number, and shape formation. They need a visual representation of what it will look like as an end result, and then they need the steps modeled for them, and guidance to walk them through it.
Today, I am going to attach a link I have made for your child to trace the ABC’s, but I don’t want you to give them a pen and walk away wishing them well. I want you to sit down with them, talk about each letter, make it first, and then allow them to trace it. I actually encourage moms and dads to write on a “my turn, your turn” basis with their children so you can model step-by-step what you are doing and they can Xerox what you have just done.
If you want you can search for letter formation poems, songs, and chants online but if you don’t want to overwhelm yourself in a cyber-search simply read the following for your own understandings and then get busy.
Each letter falls into a height scale. Some letters are tall (“touching the sky”), some letters are short (“only reaching the picket fence”), and some have roots (“going underground”).
Each letter has a different shape. Some letters have curvy lines, some letters have straight lines, and some letters have both.
Start at the top when making your letters and “pull down”.
So, to put that all together, if you make an A you would start at the top, pull down straight, go back to the top and pull down the other way, and then draw a line straight across at the picket fence.
You can explain the process however you would like, being as creative or direct as you would like, but try to incorporate some of the formation concepts listed above because it will help your little one learn the letters in their appropriate proportions.

tracing alphabet

The Sneaky Teacher

Today you are going to do something a little different than normal. You are going to pick a surface in your house that you want to clean, but one that can be cleaned with shaving cream…this post isn’t called “the sneaky teacher” for nothing….
you are going to clean, and teach at the same time. I personally would pick the bath tub, but you may have something else in mind.
Let your child help you rub shaving cream all over the bath tub and then say “ooohh, let’s use our fingers to write and draw!” Some great writing activities would be: writng your name, their name, any letters your child knows, introduce letters your child doesn’t know, numbers, shapes, and anything in between. This is a fun, child-friendly way to write, strengthen motor skills, learn and practice letter and number formation, and clean your bath tub all in one!
Shaving cream is great for cleaning surfaces such as a bath tub (google to make sure it is for your bath depending on the material) but be careful that it does not get in your child’s eyes!!! Monitor this time and clearly communicate before beginning that they need to keep their hands away from anything except the bath tub. Tell them it could hurt their eyes and mouth if they touch their face, etc.
For other tips and info. read “writing with a twist” and “the timeless teacher” writing posts 🙂
As always, have fun!

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