10 Handwriting Exercises for Preschoolers
As your little one reaches three or four, there are already steps that you can take to get him or her interested in writing and in the process of making letters. No, this doesn’t mean sitting down with a manuscript book. Early handwriting exercises can be educational and a lot of fun! Here are 10 handwriting exercises for preschoolers.
1. Get out the Shaving Cream
One activity done in many kindergarten classrooms is spreading shaving cream out on table tops. Allow your child to write his or her letters, names of friends or other familiar words in the shaving cream with his or her finger. When you’re all done, it wipes right off, making for a clean table.
2. Writing Names in the Sand
During fun in the sand, encourage your child to write letters or familiar words with a twig in the sand. Practice together, writing each other’s names or favorite things to do together. One note is that this activity works best in damp sand.
3. Fun with Finger Paint
Get out the finger paints and paper and get to work on writing. Write the alphabet, your child’s name and any other words that are familiar to him or her. For added fun, draw pictures to go along with letter sounds.
4. Pancake Letters
Start breakfast out on a high note by creating letters with a pancake batter pen. When you serve your child a specific letter, ask about words that begin with that letter. This activity will get your child excited to write the letters after breakfast is over.
5. Alphabet Cookies/Crackers
This is another one that focuses less on production and more on letter recognition. By serving your child alphabet cookies or crackers, you can combine them to make words talk about letter sounds. Once your child has developed letter recognition, he or she will be ready to duplicate those letters in his or her play.
6. Play School
Do you remember playing school as a child? If your child attends preschool, then he or she is likely to want to imitate what goes on during their learning. Using a chalkboard or dry erase board, ask your child to teach you how to write your letters. As your little one becomes more advanced, he or she can teach you how to write names, words and sentences.
7. Write Letters Together
Make a habit of allowing your child to write part (or all) of cards, thank you notes and letters to friends and family. First, go through the words together and write what they look like. Then have your child rewrite the words in their handwriting. As he or she further develops their writing, you can begin telling him or her the letters to write rather than writing it out ahead of time.
8. Make Letter Collages
Focus on single letters at a time and practice writing lots of words that begin with that letter on a large sheet of construction paper. Then add items that you find around the house or clippings from magazines and newspapers of things beginning with that letter. Not only is this activity a lot of fun, but it also works on handwriting and phonics skills.
9. Play with Play dough
Play dough or clay can be a great tool for getting your preschool excited about writing! He or she can flatten it on a table and use a stick to write names and words in it. It can also be used for forming single letters. If you’re looking for a more permanent letter craft, make your own clay and have your child form the letters. Then allow it to dry. The letters that you will have created can be used for spelling activities or as a keepsake.
10. Write Stories
Your preschooler may not have the ability yet to write sentences and connected thoughts, but chances are good that he or she loves to make up stories. Give your child a notebook and a crayon and encourage them to write down their stories. Though none of the words may look as they mean them to, getting into the habit of writing groups of letters to represent words will set the groundwork for future writing. It will also work on their development of writing letters.
Are there other handwriting exercises that you do with your preschooler? Please share your ideas!