Welcome ,You are spot on – if you have landed here in search of Writing activities , you are a super Parent who is over enthusiastic and over demanding like me! But Before you read further this article is Solely for toddlers around 2-3 years of age! If you have a younger one Hop over to the other article in This series which just focuses on how to develop the fine motor skills of your tiny tots to prepare them To writing before you read this.
As simple as it may sound Writing is no rocket science but yeah for a 2 year old to hold that crayon And scribe over your newly painted walls it definitely is! To make your journey more colorful and Memorable I’m penning this down for you! As a parent/care taker we need to know that a toddler goes Through different stages of growth & development before they land at the tripod grasp that we are using Currently at this age! So dont set unrealistic expectations that they would hold and run over with Precision at the very first go. Let them enjoy writing & develop interest and all you have to do is guide Them through it.
Here I'm sharing few fun filled interactive ideas for toddlers to get them motivated to do more.
1.SALT TRAY TRACING
We used a Baking tray and colored salt ( just to ignite interest but you can skip this part) along with ear buds to trace out patterns, numbers and alphabet. You can very well use toothpicks or even the fingers to just scribe over. The very purpose of this activity is to keep the toddler engaged, understand and feel how to trace down an alphabet. While using fingers they get the sensory feel as to how to move around to make patterns and while using ear buds they get an idea as to how to hold it. Initially the grasp would be digital pronate around 2 years and slowly develops further over a period of time when you try these activities regularly ,daily toddlers would show marked improvement. Try to keep some flashcards in front of your toddler to imitate the patterns or alphabet that you are working upon them to learn to write.
A very simple basic available at home activity!!! No chalk crayon fuss if you are bothered about the kid mouthing them. Keeps them busy for 15-20 min and always try this under supervision.
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2.CHALKBOARD TRACING, WATER BRUSH MOVEMENT:
We just introduced chalkboard/blackboards written or drew patterns and all that the toddler had to do was use a wet paint brush to erase the written content. Its like tracing the words or shapes you have written onto it. Holding the brush is enhancing the pincer grasp of the toddler and the fine movements to erase it out focuses in Hand Eye Co ordination thus helping them to work on their attention span. I’m someone who is too much bothered about mess play and hence supervise each activity ! With the two toddlers around leaving them unattended can lead to a whole new world of chaos which I super dread! Mizan still mouths the chalks(18 Mo) so we avoid chalk pieces completely in front of him! Keeps them busy for a wholesome 10 mins!
3.MAGNETIC DOODLE BOARD:
This is one such toy that I would guarantee wouldn’t be a waste investment, there are lot of versions of this in the market and you can just basically try which ever ones suit your toddler the best. This is one such board which finds a place in the daily play times and is used maximum. Toddlers find the board interesting and its fascinating for them to try to write
🌹 No mess
🌹 The stamps arise interest in drawing n painting
🌹 Compact at travel times
🌹 Smooth surfaces to write draw scribble n instantly erase to repeat
🌹 Prepares the child for writing n drawing thereby reinforcing the pen grasps and gains confidence in the child
🌹 These boards come with magnetic pen sometimes attached via string, a slide eraser and animal shapes alphabet stamps – there are just variety of them.
🌹 Brings interest in Art forms
🌹 True pen/pencil feel is lagging
🌹 Works on feather touch whereas while using pen/pencils the child has to put more efforts
🌹 The magnetic tip of pencil can come out and is a choking hazard(ours came out n is missing till today😭) Overall must have with every kid prepares them for the prewritingskill.
Gets the child occupied 10-15 mins but with versions of additive stamp features gets them glued for upto 30 mins.
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4.MAGNETIC MAZE BOARD WITH MAGNETIC PEN :
The thing about these boards is to aid the toddler to focus on one object and trace it down to its destination. This is an excellent activity for the child to understand that they have to continuously apply pressure while writing. While writing in books/boards they need to know that the minute they loosen the grip they wouldn’t be able to scribe further. That concept gets reinforced while using these kind of boards. There are quite a lot of variations available with alphabet / number maze, tracing maze etc . It gets the child occupied for almost 20 mins and above, an intriguing pass time for them.
🌹Kids observation improves
🌹 Excercises thinking
🌹 Problem solving skills
🌹 Spatial reasoning
🌹 Hand eye coordination
🌹 Fear of wear n tear
Overall a good buy to strengthen the pre writing phase of the child.
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5.CARDBOARD CUT OUT TRACING :
I’ve always been a believer of using recycled things and now in the current situation it just becomes more befitting. This pre writing skill activity requires minimum prep. We used cardboard and made common pattern (pre writing strokes like straight lines/slanting lines/sleeping lines Etc.) cut outs and used paper beneath so that the toddler can trace them with the pencil. This is more of a structured writing activity you can try once done with the above mentioned ones. This aids in understanding the concept of continuity in writing and following the patterns. You can try with numbers/alphabet cut outs too.
The things I like about this DIY
🌹Simple n easy to set up
🌹Prep for capital letters writing
🌹 Reinforcement of pen grasp
🌹 Hand Eye coordination
6. WORKSHEET PATTERN TRACING
Another variation of the previous activity is using the worksheets to help the toddler trace a pattern, we generally use sheet protectors to try this for repeated usage. Drawing patterns and asking the toddler to connect A to B is a structured writing skill, you can also use this like Matching activities by asking the child to match two same objects on either columns. ( Alhpabets A-Apple Etc) This involves drawing lines matching objects on either side of the page -Occupies their interest till the page is fully scribbed effectively!!! U can get worksheets/make your own using any concept that they understand . Identify and Circle the objects , following a maze all such ideas come under structured writing wherein there is a particular pattern to follow.
Once you observe the toddler has slowly gained momentum with the above mentioned writing activities you can plunge further to get them books/boards to explore more writing!
7. WIPE AND CLEAN BOOKS
One of the ways to practice proper writing skills is to practie them . Get hold of any wipe and clean activity books- there are quite a lot of variations to the book with lot of worksheets varying from tracing alphabets, Nos, fruits , shapes, patterns – all of these books just have this one idea to include practice based writing. Children can practice any skills over and over again with these wipe clean books.
Occupies their interest from 20-30 mins. If you don’t have these books you can simply write the dotted lines/patterns on paper n seal them in ziplock bags/ laminator pages/sheet protectors- so that they serve the purpose of wipe clean! Or you can glue the papers to a cardboard n cello tape them thus focusing on writing over these taped cardboards!!! That simple it is!!!
From around 18 months you can try these if the toddler is just going to follow patterns but if you are into teaching the alphabets then you gotta wait till the child is ready with the pencil grasp to an extent. Dont rush up! Be Slow. Be Patient. Be Consistent. All things will fall into place.
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