One of my very first articles here on natis.ca was on the importance of play during what we know as the most formative years of a child’s life, the early years.
I’d like to further explore how we can use play to introduce, reinforce and master essential skills such as writing. By creating these unique learning experiences you help to set the foundation for learning and literacy.
Don’t limit yourself to a ‘writing table’, incorporate writing games and activities throughout the day in your classroom as well as during outdoors time. When planning these play experiences be sure to consider the unique learning styles and needs of each child in your care and provide that individualized support.
Who says you need to write with pencils or crayons? Kids can use their fingers to practice writing letters or words using either a sand, salt or paint tray, it’s the perfect activity for indoors or take it outdoors on a sunny day.
Turn any dramatic play center into a restaurant or cafe for the day and have kids write food or beverage orders down on paper, let them help create a menu or a new recipe idea.
Use sidewalk chalk or water and a paintbrush to write during outdoors time.
Use your arts and crafts centre to get kids involved in a number of fine motor activities, it’s also important to develop these skills when learning to write. One good example is to practice letter formation using play doh or clay.
Choose unique writing tools and play around with different canvases, the possibilities are endless.