Ames Free Library

"Where the Community Connects"

Early Literacy Activities: WRITE

Writing is part of early literacy – but it takes a lot of coordination, fine motor skills, and even shape recognition to write! None of those skills are possible until children are older, so let’s focus on the pre-writing skills… all babies have to start somewhere, and scribbling is the first step toward learning how to use a writing utensil!

How about plopping your young toddler in a box with some jumbo crayons (as long as they won’t eat them!), and letting them go to town scribbling on the box? (Do you order diapers online? Those giant boxes are great for keeping them out from underfoot, too!) For older toddlers and preschoolers, this is the perfect time to “write” letters to family you can’t visit right now – even if they just live across town! Remember, at this age, scribbling is writing practice, so have your toddler color a coloring book page. Have your preschooler draw their own pictures. Help them sign their names, whether that means holding their hand while you trace the first letter of their name, or letting them trace their name that you’ve written for them… or just squiggles!

(Bonus: this is a fun activity to help your school aged kids feel connected too! Have them practice their handwriting by writing about something they did today, or their favorite toy, or anything they can think of that they want to tell their family/friends about!)

Pop it in the mailbox, and you’ve just completed a pre-literacy activity – and brightened someone’s day!

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