Toddler Activities for Pre-Writing Skills— In the world of a toddler, play is the most important line item on their schedule. But playtime is more than just idly picking up different toys and interacting with other children of the same age. Play is setting the stage for their future development, and often teaches them the first things they need to know about language and writing.
These toddler activities are designed to help children develop pre-writing skills, and will begin preparing them for the time in preschool where they will start to build the foundation for reading and writing.
15 Toddler Activities for Pre-Writing Skills
- Create a sensory bin. Many people choose to make sensory bins based on the season or the nearest holiday. For example, a summer sensory bin might include sand, seashells, smooth stones, and plastic fish toys. Sensory bins encourage children to explore while developing their dexterity and grip.
- Make homemade play dough. The act of squishing and shaping the dough helps children to develop their hand muscles, which will be essential for writing in the future.
- Trace letters in flour, sprinkles or sugar. This helps toddlers recognize their letters while learning about the motions needed to form them.
- Make a bracelet with a pipe cleaner and beads. By placing the small beads on the pipe cleaners, the child will improve their fine motor skills. Adult supervision may be needed due to the size of the beads.
- Complete an alphabet puzzle together. This is a simple yet effective way to teach pre-writing skills to young children.
- Color a picture and identify the shapes in the picture. Learning shapes helps prepare children to identify letters.
- Play with Paint. Get out the easel and let your toddler finger paint to increase their dexterity.
- Spell words with letter magnets, so that your toddler can begin to understand that letters form words.
- Even More Play with Paint. Dip Q-tips in paint and let your child create a masterpiece. Gripping the Q-tip is good practice for gripping a pencil, crayon, or marker in the future.
- Have your child trace letters with their fingers. Not only will this give them a chance to practice letter recognition, but it will teach them how to write the letters properly.
- Develop Fine Motor Skills. Let your child use safety scissors to cut lines and shapes. Cutting is necessary to developing fine motor skills. Adult supervision is required for this activity.
- Develop Hand Muscles. Create paper balls using different colored construction paper. Crunching up the paper helps to develop important hand muscles, yet children don’t even know how hard they are working while they are enjoying this fun activity.
- Fun Letter Activity. Draw bubble letters and encourage your children to try and write within them.
- Read! Read the same favorite book together every day. Soon, your toddler will have memorized the story and they will begin to recognize the words on the page.
- And, last but not least, write! Write out their name, and practice saying the letters together. Your child’s name is often the first thing they learn to spell, so it’s an easy way to show them that letters are needed to form words.
5 Story Starters for Toddlers
Toddlers between the ages of 18 months and 3 years are not quite able to write their own stories, but they are able to learn the fundamentals of storytelling. These story starters will allow you and your toddler to come up with creative stories together.
- A boy and a girl were playing outside when they discovered a hopping frog. The frog sounded like…
- A young child was taking a walk with his mom and dad through the neighborhood. On their walk, they saw a…
- The trip to the zoo was very exciting. All of the animals were…
- It was time for dinner, and there were three pieces of fruit on the little girl’s plate. She chose to eat the…
- The big yellow school bus was driving down the street. It was taking the school children to the…
These play-based toddler activities are lighthearted and fun, and your little one will likely never know that they are setting the stage for a future of strong writing skills. It’s never too early to begin teaching the concepts of storytelling and writing, so get started today. Both you and your children should always keep on writing!
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