Pre-Writing Activities ~ The Montessori Way

November 28, 2016

Learning to write can be a frustrating exercise for many young children.  Especially when they haven’t mastered the art of holding the pencil properly.  Once they conquer this monumental task, the skies the limit.  <=== I know.  Sounds a bit dramatic, but ask any 2 or 3 year old who is learning and they’ll tell you that it isn’t easy.  Ask a 4 year old and don’t be surprised if they snap that pencil right in half with a growl.

But over time, with a little practice and determination they will see results.

Handwriting will improve greatly.
Coloring in the lines will become easier.
Buttoning their own jacket will be a snap ((See what I did there?))

Here are some great ways for you to help your child at home.  They will thank you later 🙂

1 – Sand tray

All you need is a shallow tray and sand.  That’s it. This activity is a great sensorial exercise which will keep your child busy for a while.  I highly recommend changing it up from time to time.  You can use sand, salt, or sugar.  Another way is using rice.  In the past, I dyed the rice different colors to add to the sensory experience.

Check out this video and see how the sand tray can be a valuable tool in the writing process.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvJuRgj7pbA

2 – Pinwork

This is one of my absolute favorite activities for young preschoolers.  It will aid in small muscle control, concentration, and pencil grip.  I like to use stencils of different shapes or animals (sometimes holiday oriented images) in black marker or black pencil on construction paper.  You will need a push pin which, if you will notice how your child holds it, is EXACTLY how they should be holding a pencil. 😲

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…I bet some of you are wondering why you didn’t think of that.  I know I did. Walk them through the process of tracing the black line with their push pin.

Watch this video to see exactly how this activity can be effective
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_z2J2ijG1E

3 – Tracing

Use a yellow highlighter on a white piece of lined paper.  Draw the letters A – Z and allow your child to trace with a pencil. Another preference in the classroom is their name.  Children love to see their name on paper.

One thing I highly recommend is teaching your child lowercase letters before upper case. Remember that those are the letters you see most when reading.  They are also the letters they see most in their names.  Everything they are learning above is a preparation for reading 😄

They’re well on their way!

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