Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Meanderings - I Love to Write

In honor of I love to Write Day, we are going to cover some writing ideas for kids.

Before we get to the links though, let's talk about pre-writing. It can be very difficult for a child that does not have enough strength in her hands to try to hold a pencil for a long time. In addition, it can be difficult to old a full size pencil. Imagine if you as an adult tried to hold a long carnival style pencil and write for very long. Your hand would cramp up and the writing will probably be illegible. This also applies to a child. With my own child, we try to use golf pencils. They are smaller, about the size of a crayon and he is better able to control the pencil.

Demonstrate  to your child how to properly grip the pencil between the thumb and pointer finger, letting the pencil rest on the middle finger. This is called the Tripod Grip. This will take awhile to teach. Be patient and if your child seems uninterested, come back to it later. You want your child to enjoy writing and if they are pressured constantly they will never enjoy it. To help your child relax, have her shake her hands, make drawings in the air or in a salt box (see below), or roll a piece of clay between her hands.

Our first link is PB & J Preschool discussing how to set up a Preschool Writing Center. She has some great ideas. I really like the thought of doing a Journal with my child to track his improvements over time.

Next up is Mama Jenn with the directions on making a homemade salt box for the kids to practice writing in. I love this idea! It is very sensory aimed and will give the children an opportunity to feel the letters.

Have you seen Sandpaper Letters? I bought some and they set me back about $30.00. Wish I had found Beautiful Sun Montessori prior to my purchase. She has a step by step tutorial on making your own letters. These have been great for working with my son on the letter sounds.

So we have covered pre-writing activities, let's move to some thoughts on writing. Here are some things you could have your child write:

1) Thank you notes for all gifts. If the writing is illegible, you can write something to the recipient also to let them know about the thank you.
2) Grocery lists. Cut out pictures of items you need then let your child glue them to a page and then write the names beside them. Your child can then also do a scavenger hunt (see our blog post of 6/10/10).
3) Their name. I have a small chalkboard that I painted my child's name on and he practices writing his name below it. I made the chalkboard with a piece of cardboard and chalkboard contact paper. There will be a blog post soon for all of the uses of chalkboard contact paper.

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