Sunday, July 8, 2012

Line Tracing - Prewriting Skills

(29 Months)

Wild One surprised us one morning when he went running around their playroom saying, "letter D" and then dashing back to their table to write the letter D.  I thought it was a fluke, so I kept watching.  He would run around looking for a letter, "letter T" and then he was off and wrote a perfect letter T.  Hmmm, "letter I", "letter H", "letter X".  Ok, this boy is trying to tell me something.

During nap time I planned on making several practice templates for him to work on.  I was only able to complete two (free for non-profit use, see below) before they woke up (why won't they sleep???).  I always thought we should practice drawing straight lines prior to learning how to form letters.  It just seemed like a natural progression to writing letters.  The kidabunks have their own plan though.

I put both of the activity sheets, back-to-back, in a plastic report cover and taped the sides, so that we can use these with dry erase markers.  It worked beautifully.  As soon as they saw it, they sat down and went right to work.  The only reminders they needed was the direction to work in.    They drew their lines, erased and started over several times.  Woo hoo, they liked it, they really liked it!
I couldn't find our dry erasers, so we cut a sponge into thirds and used a clothes pin as a handle.  A washcloth also works well, but I wanted to continue having them work their pincer muscles.

Wild One wanted to do more practice with writing letters, and as I didn't have any activity sheets for him to work on, I handed him my iPhone.  There are so many wonderful apps out there to trace letters.  Our favorites are Dora's Skywriting Adventure, ABC Tracing, 123 Tracer, Little Writer and Letter Quiz (all are free, except for the first and the last apps).  We purchased this stylus for our iPhone so that the kidabunks can practice writing their letters with a "pen" instead of their finger, and it works beautifully.  I love watching them take turns and asking to write letters on my phone.

Now it's time to either find wonderful activity sheets or make some of my own (I need more hours in the day- no not the day, I need more night hours so I can get something done).

This screen shot is from Letter Quiz- Little Miss wrote all of her letters on July 10th.  Of course, this is with the apps guided assistance (it's not completely free hand), although this is all her work.  Little Miss and Wild One love this app, they play it every day.

Bubble Wrap- I love finding fun activities that will help strengthen their little pincer muscles.  Popping bubble wrap will do just that.  We started with the large-bubble bubble wrap, and Little Miss loved it.  She was so giddy after each POP!  After we finishing popping the large bubbles, we moved onto the more challenging small-bubble bubble wrap.  This takes a bit more patience to manipulate the air pocket within the bubble to pop it, so it was excellent for concentration work as well as fine motor skills.

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