Friday, October 20, 2017

Inspiration from the Blogosphere: Making Marks on the Page

Preschoolers are interested in writing. They see adults writing things and are intrigued by these marks on the page. They play with writing, drawing lines and squiggles. They draw pictures to show their own ideas and what they are thinking. And, in addition, all those play experiences that develop their fine motor skills help prepare their hands and fingers for writing.

Below are some inspirations related to writing and pre-writing. Remember play = writing!

Best DIY Easel Ever (Teach Preschool)
One of the ways that preschoolers love to make marks on the page is through painting. Deborah at Teach Preschool has a great DIY easel. Since I love repurposing things, I really liked this idea. And four kids can paint at once. If you don't have space for  free-standing easel (or don't even have one), try this great idea from Deborah.

We have painted with feathers.

Sensory Writing Tray (Pre-K Pages)
I love to use writing trays. This post is a great look at the basics of a writing tray. You can use colored sand or salt, add scents (like lavender) to increase the sensory experience, provide cards with letters or shapes to copy, or just allow kids to explore with writing in the tray. In addition to using fingers, we've added watercolor brushes to write with. Kids can use the brush end or the handle end to write.

Make Your Own Book (Sunny Day Family)
Some of my kids have loved making their own books. (Some of them just love using the stapler!) We usually just have blank paper, the stapler, and writing items. But Laura has created some templates for book pages. I like the "official" look of these pages and some budding authors would love to use these as a guide for writing and drawing their own books.

Sometimes we have blank books in the writing center.

 Dry Erase Board Mazes (No Time for Flash Cards)
I stumbled upon this older post and immediately was intrigued. First of all, more repurposing with the CD cases. (I have some lying around.) I love the working on a maze and easily erasing a misstep along the way. And I thought it would be fun to take turns drawing a maze - on a dry erase board - and asking a friend to solve it. In either case, kids would be practicing making marks in a more controlled way. (And, if you don't have CD cases, use frames with clear glass or even a sheet protector clipped to a clipboard.)

Fluffy Pumpkin Spice Slime (Teaching Mama)
Building those small muscles of the hand and fingers is a great pre-writing activity. Anything that allows manipulation and squeezing and using the fingers can build fine motor skills. Angela posted this recipe for fun smelling slime and I really want to make some.

We have made and used galaxy slime!

Pom Pom Grab and Drop (Busy Toddler)
Moving thing with tongs is another great fine motor activity. Susie posted this activity...and I immediately began thinking about what other things we could move with tongs. Maybe my foam cubes or wide collection of plastic lids? Maybe magnet letters? Of course, pom-poms are great, too.

Dollar Store Writing Center (Pre-K Pages)
And check out this post I wrote for Vanessa and Pre-K Pages. You can create a writing center for your kids with items from a dollar store. Mix and match the items you'd like to have for your center. And encourage kids to make marks on a page...playing with writing. (More about our writing center.)

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