Writing is the art of discovering who you are. Pouring all the emotions on a piece of paper in the form of words helps in thinking clearly and clarifies the thoughts, which leads to new patterns of ideas. With the opportunity to brainstorm ideas, it can also assist in newer thoughts. When it comes to defining goals, it can be very helpful to write them down and map out the immediate actions necessary to achieve them.
For this reason, implanting these skills like writing, taking breaks, reading, and listening deeper right from a tender age is crucial in this age of smartphones and laptops as well. For these youngsters who may be constantly brimming with ideas, creative arts like writing may be better taught with enticing activities and games.
Your search for the same may end here with our twelve crafted activities for little ones.
What makes writing skills imperative?
Everyday work is often not complete without skills like writing. Be it writing a letter, or signing a check, all these tasks need penmanship. Understanding it to be an important trait, it is often depicted as the extent of one’s learning, critical thinking, and thoughts too. Not only for social value, but writing skills are also crucial on the following grounds too:
- Bringing balance and organizing thoughts
Be it a little learner or an adult; various thoughts may be running down their minds. Most of the time, they are not linked to one another. For this reason, solutions for some areas may not be easily determined. Writing down these thoughts starts organizing tasks. Further, looking at all the insights in one place can bring about a better idea of what needs to be done.
- Innovation and Visualization
In common, many thoughts may be running down in mind, but putting these on paper can get them organized. Being arranged implies that the individual can make it further innovative and visualize the scene better even for little learners.
- Implicitly improves reading ability
Learning, reading, and writing abilities are often interlinked. The person who reads more may often write better, and vice versa is also true. For this reason, mastering writing skills can let them manage their challenges right from an early age. Further, these can also assist little ones to recognize the bond between letters and relevant phonics better.
Writing activities for little learners – Curated for early brains
1. Trace it out
Apart from pen and paper, a sheet of tracing paper is needed for this activity.
- To start with, the teacher prepares a questions sheet with, say, 4 large alphabets on the paper. And these are distributed among the young learners.
- Now, the teacher places a sheet of tracing paper on the questions sheet so that students can see the alphabet through the upper layer. Students are now given a pencil and are asked to trace the alphabet a couple of times.
- Now, the tracing sheet is separated. To finish, the student needs to write the same alphabet without support. This way, the level of understanding can be made out. This activity can be employed frequently in class for different alphabets.
2. Connect the dots
Connecting dots to make an interesting shape is often a well-liked practice for toddlers. This activity inspired by the dot strategy needs just a pen and paper to implement.
- To start with, they create a letter with dots. Now the students are called upon to connect these dots.
- The mentor may also ask them to recite the word and write them without the help of dots beside them.
- These dots often assist in connecting students with various shapes on paper. Accordingly, the more connections a child builds, the more probable it is that they will be able to recall that information later.
This activates the brain’s hippocampus, which acts as a traffic cop for learning whenever one starts connecting the dots mentally.
3. Story Prompts
Writing short stories is a fun approach to boosting children’s creativity. This can be transformed into an enticing activity.
- To start with, teachers cut out photographs of different characters or locations from magazines.
- Now, they put these in a jar or paste them on cards as writing prompts to develop a story.
- The prompt could be a single word, a short sentence, a paragraph, or even an image, to give the kid something to concentrate on as he/she writes.
- Students’ writing styles are groomed by using this technique as it can be used to spark ideas for a tale, poetry, or essay. This is also an excellent activity for the entire family to participate in.
4. Make it Up
The shape of letters can be inspired from anywhere. This activity let the toddlers inspire shapes from people.
- To start with, the teacher announces an alphabet to practice. Now, they show three different entities representing the alphabet.
- Say, if the alphabet is ‘C’, the instructor makes a curve out of hand, bends themselves as C, or makes a wire bond to form the shape.
- When pupils get an idea of the shape, the mentor writes the same shape (C here) in a notebook.
- The toddler needs to trace this line and then try writing on their own beside it. This activity takes practice above just tracing the shape to make little ones discern the curves better.
5. Path to Home
Letters and alphabets are often a curve or combination of multiple curves just like a road.
- This activity takes the little ones on a journey as they learn how to write a letter. The teacher decides on a letter to be practiced beforehand, say the letter is S.
- Now, they draw a road on the floor in the shape of an S and mark home at one end, and school at the other end.
- To start with the activity, the teacher shows where home and school are and asks them to walk the way from home to school. By doing this, they can implicitly grasp the shape as they walk.
- Later, they are asked to recall the road and draw the same shape on paper.
- The activity may get complicated for alphabets like X and A, but with multiple paths, they also can be managed.
This activity brings out the little one from traditional tracing practice and gives broader insights into shapes and curves.
6. Bubble wrap
Bubble wraps can have multiple applications, engaging with these can give out possibilities for multiple ideas. It is fun for children, beneficial for stress alleviation, and excellent for sensory stimulation. Packing and popping aren’t the only uses.
- To start this activity, the teacher procures a sheet of bubble wrap for each of the students.
- Now, they take a marker and shade those bubbles that make up an alphabet. Learners are now called upon and asked to trace this bubble either by using a pencil or with a finger.
- Now they can write the same shape on paper.
Recognizing the letters through this activity can help children create the foundation for a lifetime of language and communication. Now, think twice before throwing away that used wrap in the bin.
7. Play-Doh’s game
The appeal of this game is irresistible to children! Play-Doh is reminiscence sealed in a splendid yellow container: the salty aroma, vibrant hues, and endless possibilities. Thereby it is an extremely enjoyable technique to relieve tension, release excess energy, and improve attention and concentration. We can use this in activities as well.
- For this exercise, children can shape little dough balls into long threads and then bend/link them together to form letters.
- It improves coordination between the hands and the eyes.
- Now they can trace the letter with their finger for some time and then write the same letter on paper.
- This activity encourages playtime while also teaching letter formation and shape recognition. The kid thinks creatively as he/she shapes the playdough into a ball, a snake, or an alphabet.
8. Fill in the story
- Fill in the blanks has been a crucial practice strategy for students; the same can act as a writing practice as well.
- Giving a child an incomplete narrative with a few blanks to fill in will encourage them to learn new words and write.
- Due to the tender age, the teacher narrates the story and asks pupils about what it is.
- Now, the instructor writes the word on the board which students can mimic.
E.g. He is my _________
The first blank may be filled with ‘dad’, teacher narrates that and writes the spelling on the board to assist the little ones to mimic and then write each word (d–a-d) carefully
9. Vocabulary Challenge
- The teacher draws a picture and writes the relevant word on the board to make the little one understand it.
- Later, they draw three pictures and ask the pupil to identify them with the name called by them.
- Now the little one is called upon to write the word below the image. For instance: If the word is ‘Bat’, the teacher draws a bat beside it to make them understand. Later, they draw three images, say bat, a ball, and a star.
- Now the little ones are asked to identify the bat. Later, one of them is called upon and is asked to write the spelling beside the right image.
This activity is easy to implement. Apart from learning to write, this activity can help the children to learn a new one every day with a visual cue so that they can later identify them.
10. Dance and Hands
Writing involves the right movement of hands, and this can be practiced with dance moves too.
- Before starting this activity, the teacher chooses an alphabet and then crafts a dance move to draw it in the air easily.
- For instance, if the alphabet is o, the movement would be simple- just making circles with fingers in the open air.
- In the class, the activity starts with the mentor turning on music and making the move to demonstrate children.
- The little ones mimic the same for a few minutes. Later, they are asked to do the same with a pencil on paper.
- This activity can be a recreation as the students may get up from their places, dance for some time, and then write letters.
11. Naming the cutouts
Learning from visual and real-life cues can be of paramount importance to learners. With ensured visual cues, the learners can implicitly focus on details.
- Make basic cutouts of 3-4 houses and use a sketch pen to design windows, stairs, and doors.
- Ask the child to count and write down the number of windows, stairs, and entries in each house.
- The activity helps the kid learn to write, know the object’s shape, and grasp new knowledge.
- Apart from lego bricks and other related activities, the little ones can also try making alphabets too. Accordingly, the above activity may be conducted for letters and alphabets too.
12. A sand tray
- It is one of the most straightforward exercises to set together for your students to practice pre-writing. Parents can load the tray with sand, flour, cornmeal, rice, or salt.
- Then, to learn writing, kids can use their fingertips or an unsharpened pencil to draw letters or words.
- Writing words in the sand is a fun way to practice language skills. In addition, parents might ask questions to capitalize on the linguistic play.
- Writing requires motor skills, and for children who struggle with handwriting, gripping the pen, and making letters, are all difficult tasks.
- In addition, children with learning difficulties may need to work more on building up letters and proper spacing.
- Sensory activities such as watering plants with a spray bottle, gripping and holding small items with tweezers, and punching paper can help children practice fine motor skills for better handwriting.
Developing hand muscles is essential in getting the child to write more. Playing with clay and holding different textures with their hands will strengthen the kid’s hand muscles. With a feel of playtime, they may relish learning writing with ease.
Writing gives children various benefits such as boosting a child’s vocabulary and demonstrating alternative ways to use words. Further, a rise in abilities of text expression, concepts, and phonological awareness can be a bonus. With the implementation of innovative activities, the learning can be further engaging.
Check out the crafted activities above and see which of these can be befitting for you to apply, even with minor changes. These can be easily inculcated within the playful curriculum of the little ones, making them worth consideration.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,