The other day I posted a template of the numbers 1-5 so that your little one could carefully concentrate on, and color, one number at a time. Well, I wasn’t lying when I told ya I’d post numbers 6-9 soon, and I even threw in “0” just because I love ya!
One of my favorite things when I was a little girl was to look at an object while attempting to draw it. My art teacher said to pretend that an ant was crawling along the outside of the object and as it crawled my pencil should move with it. This was a great visual for me and it helped me to replicate objects the best that I could.
My goal today is an open-ended “writing” activity, okay okay so it is actually a drawing activity, BUT don’t forget that drawing builds fine motor skills which makes for efficient writers!
First, you are going to assemble your sketchbook… That’s right, make a custom sketchbook that is even more meaningful to your little one because ya’ll made it together. Grab two stacks of computer paper (as thick or thin as you’d like), hole-punch the top of both stacks, slip ribbon (yarn or whatever you have) through them, tie double-knots and then make curls or bows. Why two stacks?… Because it means so much to your little one to do activities TOGETHER, and you are modeling “how to” draw. Write your name on your cover and your little one’s name on theirs (or let them do it if he/she can).
I aligned the 3 hole-punch so that only two holes would be punched in the center of my stack of paper.
I then tied ribbon into a tight double knot, and held the bottom of the ribbon between my thumb and the scissors and pulled out toward the end to make the curls.
Next, ask your little artist to pick something around the house (or in the backyard) to draw, and you will BOTH draw in your own book. Talk about it: what shapes you see, what part you are going to draw first, if it has a word on it (like Tonka) what letters you are going to write on the Truck and where.
This can be such an open-ended experience where your child’s creativity and imagination has the chance to shine.
Today we are going to combine a writing and a reading activity to make one meaningful experience.
If you read the post “Tracing Stamps” this is an extension activity of that article. If you haven’t read it, don’t miss out~see what it’s all about 🙂
If you don’t have stamps, or the money to buy these stamps, you can just as easily download the “trace font for kids” for free (click on my link or type it into google), then you will just type the words that your little one will trace into a word document. Or, you can even make your own dot-to-dot letters for your little one to trace if you are feeling super frugal!
This activity is a book that I made with my friend’s children. It is a “My Family” book about the people most important to your little one.
1. Took 3 pieces of paper (you may need more if you have several family members), stacked them on top of each other, and folded them in half; stapling them on the folded edge.
2. Asked the little ones to help me find the letters to stamp and trace the book’s title, “My Family” as well as each member of the family on the corresponding pages. As a side note, allow them to include pets if they consider them family. 🙂
3. Helped the little ones draw a picture of each person or pet. Read the “Drawing a Person” post for tips and pointers.
4. Read the finished product to the “author” of this book, and then asked them to read it back to me.
This activity is a great way to practice fine motor skills, writing meaninful words, practice drawing, practice sounding out words (if you accomodate the activity for that purpose), practice finding letters from the stamp collection (letter identification), practice directionalilty (placing the letters in order from left to right on the page), and practice letter formation.
The more experience your little one has with writing the more control they will have. Today’s activity is going to combine a free exploration activity with the structured one….sounds crazy, I know, give me a minute to explain.
I want you to consider purchasing one (or any combination) of the following tracing stamp sets and ink pad. I LOVE using these with my kiddos and there are so many ways to use them to accomodate to different levels of reading and writing ability.
When you first get them in you are going to show your child how to use them by taking one letter/number at a time and carefully dipping it in the ink, and then carefully placing it on the paper.
You can show your child the letters it takes to stamp your name, his/her name, and many other words they want to know how to spell, but FIRST…let them PLAY. I know…takes all the fun out of teaching doesn’t it haha. But this is called free exploration, and children need to have time to play with materials (which are toys to them) before working with them. I used to tell my kids “I’m going to give you 10 minutes to play with the _______; then we will do an activity with them after.”
Then you are going to model his/her name, your name (“mom” or “dad”), and maybe a few other simple words.
Next, you are going to take out a pencil, marker, crayon, colored pencil, or something like it to trace over the letters.
Finally, let your child stamp whatever he/she chooses. It is okay if it is a string of random letters. But you are then going to take your child’s hand (if he/she is willing to let you help) and trace over the letters together. Your child can do this on his own when he is confident enough to do so.
If you can’t afford to buy tracing stamps, go to my “Activity Archives” and click on “Tracing the Alphabet.” Simply cut out the letters and let them make their words using the cut outs, and trace them as well!
If you have determined that your child may not yet be ready for writing activities, then I want you to allow your little one to have a lot of practice simply doodling or coloring to gain control, coordination, and strength in their hands to write.
Playing with playdough and various other fine motor skill activities will get your little ones READY to write by developing the necessary motor skills.
I have my little two year old make likes and circles on paper when he is coloring and writing but he likes to attempt to trace so I made this:
A VERY basic activity for pre-writers who are not yet ready for tracing defined shapes and figures.