Preschool Activities to Inspire Early Writers
Activities that inspire early writers are an essential part of any preschool program. Writing skills are one of the most crucial skills for preschoolers to learn. At an early age, it begins with inspiring preschoolers to be interested in pre-writing skills, which will set them up for success in becoming confident and independent writers.
As educators, we can assist preschoolers in building their writing muscles by providing them with various activities that are creative, fun, and, most importantly, lay the foundation for writing skills. Children from a young age have an interest in writing, from using different writing utensils to mimicking their parent's writings using scribbles and markings. As children develop, we can begin to foster that spark by using various tools for preschoolers to experiment with, like writing trays, tracing, and using sidewalk chalk. Emergent writing skills play a vital role in preschoolers' success with reading and writing. The activities we are sharing are excellent for not only building the muscles for writing but will also inspire preschoolers to want to write.
Writing trays are a definite favorite in the preschool classroom. Their popularity is well-deserved. They are one of the best tools for enhancing fine motor skills while introducing writing. The best part about writing trays is you can differentiate based on your learners, but you can also change out the fillers to keep preschoolers engaged each time you introduce a new tray.
Writing trays are a great opportunity for preschoolers to practice letter formation, their name, numbers, CVC words, and more. Writing trays are easy to set up and allow for a ton of creativity. Not only do writing trays inspire preschoolers to write, but they also offer a tactile sensory experience. Here are some fun ideas for getting started with writing trays, bird seed, sand, and even a rainbow themed tray. You can grab the free printable to go along with a rainbow theme here.
Letter tracing is a quick way to start building emergent writing skills. Tracing helps refine pre-writing skills and helps preschoolers begin to understand letter formation. The more opportunities your preschooler has to trace, their ability to trace successfully becomes stronger. Writing is about gaining control over the arms and fingers, and tracing allows preschoolers to practice gaining the necessary control needed for successful writing.
Tracing can begin with lines, shapes, and pictures while gradually moving into letters, names, and words. Allowing the opportunity for gradual progression is an essential factor in developing writing skills. Try out these summer-themed writing cards or these alphabet sheets to introduce tracing to your preschoolers.
One of the simplest ways to inspire your preschoolers to write is by giving them an opportunity to practice their name. A preschoolers name is extremely meaningful to them and they take pride in knowing their name and writing it is no exception. Having preschoolers practice their name gives them a real-life connection to letters, sounds, and how they work together. And, once a preschooler begins to practice writing their name the desire to learn more explodes!
The best part about name writing is there are so many different activities you can do to foster this learning. Check out this extensive list of ideas for name practice in the preschool classroom. Or, grab a set of customizable name worksheets for your preschooler to begin not only recognizing the letters in their name but also writing the letters. Provide your preschoolers with an opportunity to begin first by identifying the letters in their name and gradually work towards tracing. We have a free bubble name activity that pairs great with dot markers- a preschool favorite!
One of the best ways to inspire preschoolers is to provide them with activities they know and love. Insert: CHALK! When the weather permits it's nice to get outside with your little learners and bring a bucket or two of chalk. This is an open-ended activity with no expectations, which is one of the best ways to encourage preschoolers to draw. As preschoolers progress in their writing skills, notice the changes in their sidewalk chalk pictures. Grab this roll & write activity to inspire your preschoolers to practice letters during play.
Dramatic play centers allow preschoolers to foster creativity and enhance relationship buildings and self-expression, but they also connect preschoolers to real-life experiences. Dramatic play is a common aspect of early learning and encourages preschoolers to act out real-life situations. And writing is a big part of the real world. Dramatic play gives educators a simple way to include writing activities like list-taking and order-taking in various themed dramatic play centers. A diner theme is a simple way to teach preschoolers how waiters and waitresses write down our orders. Try setting up a post office with an area for preschoolers to write letters to mail to friends and family!
Create a designated space in your classroom for a writing center. This space includes various writing tools like markers, crayons, pencils, and dry-erase markers that are always accessible for preschoolers. A writing center can have all necessary supplies stocked and ready to go so preschoolers can independently work in the writing center. This is a space to foster drawing and encourage writing. It’s also a great space to display a word wall so preschoolers can practice writing the words.
Writing centers are open-ended, and having the center always accessible will inspire your preschooler to work on their writing with no expectations. Grab a set of free back to school printables and a word wall to include in your writing center.
Dry Erase Practice
Writing is a skill that progresses as a preschooler's strength and dexterity increase. As educators, we can provide students with various activities that strengthen the muscles in their hands and fingers. And part of that process includes giving preschoolers opportunities to work with different writing utensils. Little learners always see their older siblings and friends using those awesome dry-erase markers, but they are also perfect for pre-writing skills!
Dry-erase activities are easily created by simply laminating some of your favorite worksheets, the ability to wipe them clean makes them great for daily use. You can laminate worksheets and put them in a binder where preschoolers can easily access the binder for writing practice. Another great way to encourage name-writing is to laminate a preschooler's name worksheet and have them practice every day. Practice open-ended doodling and writing by providing your learners with whiteboards, too! There are so many ways to differentiate dry-erase activities. Check out this summer binder for ideas on creating your own dry-erase binders.
Journaling is a way for preschoolers to practice open-ending writing while communicating their ideas. Preschoolers also love sharing stories and experiences, making journaling a go-to activity with your little learners!
It’s an essential step in practicing emergent writing skills while making a connection between text and speech. Journaling can be tailored toward the needs of your preschoolers. Some ideas are printing or writing prompts on pages in their journal, then spending a few minutes throughout the day with each student asking them the question and having them draw/journal to correspond with their answer. Be sure to write the answer to their question. Here are a few ideas for journal prompts.
Invite your preschoolers to answer a question and write/draw daily, and you will be amazed at the progress throughout the year. Especially as preschoolers begin to mimic your writing in the journal, this is also a great assessment tool.
Drawing is a big component of early learning, gaining confidence in drawing ability takes time and lots of practice. Directed drawings are a step-by-step process requiring preschoolers to draw something. A teacher uses a worksheet or a demonstration to walk students through each step. Directed drawings are another great way to practice emergent writing skills but in a different capacity. They also give preschoolers practice in following step-by-step directions and paying attention to details, which are essential lifelong skills.
Fostering a love for writing at a young age is a crucial component of creating life-long writers, and there are so many fun and creative ways to inspire your preschoolers to practice these skills at a young age! As preschoolers begin to master pre-writing skills it makes the transition to letter formation a much smoother process for little learners.
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