Usually children start by experimenting with the letters in their own names, as these are most familiar to them. During this time, children also begin to understand that some words are made of symbols that are shorter and some words are made of symbols that are longer. As a result, their scribbles change. While these letters and words are probably not technically correct, it does not matter. This exciting milestone means that your child is beginning to understand that text and print have meaning.
Offer chunky, easy-to-grip crayons, thick pencils, and washable markers. Cut paper bags up to draw on. For salt-dough recipes, check the Internet or your local library. Let your child wear an old shirt of yours with sleeves cut off as a smock and lay newspaper or an old shower curtain over the table to keep it clean. No need for instructions. Let your child experiment and explore.
Creativity means having the power to express yourself in your own way Lagoni et al. This independence is just what a growing toddler is looking for to feel confident, competent, and clever. Notice the process, not just the product. A house? And sometimes we get hung up on the fact that trees should be green, not purple. Or, That picture is really interesting. Those colors make me feel happy. Or, I see you are working really hard on your drawing. Or just: Tell me about your picture. Then see if your child is interested in sharing more.
Experiment with a variety of art materials as your child nears 3. Let children paint with cotton balls, q-tips, sponges, string—you name it. Give your child crayons and rub over a textured surface like a coin or a screen. Draw with chalk outside on a sidewalk; see how water changes the color of the chalk. Or add a new dimension to water play by adding drops of washable food coloring to the water.
What happens when you mix two different colors of water together? Use art to help your child express strong feelings. After seeing her big sister and three older brothers do activities at the kitchen table, she was ready for her turn!
I began with all the letters in her name before we moved on to the rest of the letters. I printed the books, stapled them, and store them in a little tin lunchbox. Print letter A for free here.
I decided to mix letter recognition with something she enjoys — sensory play. I printed a set of bright letters get them at the end of the post and buried them in a bin of colored beans.
She and my Four had fun digging around. As they played, I talked about the letters. She just enjoyed digging around in the dried beans and finding the cards.
But you have to start somewhere, right? I printed a double set and helped my Two find matches. Cutting Practice Materials You Will Need: pair of child sized scissors, pictures from magazines What To Do Have your child work on fine motor and pre-writing skills by inviting your child to cut out pictures from old magazines.
Your child may choose to cut out toys, food, or just pictures of interest. This activity is easier than trying to cut on lines, but still requires hand strength and more advanced fine motor skills. Ask your child to choose a letter to make, then see if your child can use the rope of Play Doh to do so.
If this is challenging for your child, write the letter on paper first, then let your child form the Play Doh on top to match.
This is an important step toward reading and writing. This is especially good for a child who is challenged by writing numerals. I have also learned that there are lots of ways to do this besides sandpaper letters and sand trays.
White Drawing Paper — Paper is an obvious staple to the toddler and preschool writing table. Please try again. The writing table is a great center to work on fine motor and literacy skills, too! We choose washable for the obvious reasons!
Finger Crayons — Our 2s not only love to draw with these, but they also enjoy stacking them, over and over again. Join , readers and get access to our exclusive subscriber library. At this stage, your child also begins to understand the difference between pictures and writing. Keep your materials accessible. Can you find the alligator?
And consider visiting Amazon to order your own copy of Ready for Kindergarten! Be encouraging. So while they may not write actual letters, you may see components of letters in their drawing. Pencil erasers are distracting, and colored pencils can be frustrating for children without a very strong grasp. My child is an artist!
Keep writing time structured, but open-ended. Get even more freebies! Once your child has begun to purposefully draw images, she has mastered symbolic thinking. Model what your child can do. But this apple printing was a success! I had the best of intentions, of course.