5 Pre-Writing Activities For Your 3-Year-Old

While your 3-year-old probably isn’t ready to write a full sentence (or even a single word), there are several activities you can do to help her/him get ready for writing.
The following activities are simple, require very few supplies – and are a great way to spend quality time with your child.

NAME TRACING
Materials You Will Need: paper, highlighter, marker or pencil
What to Do
This fun activity will provide an opportunity for your child to learn how to write his/her name. Write your child’s name on paper with a marker.
Remember to write the first letter using a capital letter then the rest in lower case.
Let your child trace over the name with a highlighter. By repeating this activity, your child will begin to understand how to write his/her own name!
It will take time for your child to write his/her name legibly.

CUTTING PRACTICE
Materials You Will Need: pair of child friendly 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.
Your child may also cut out letters or numbers that he/she recognizes. This activity is easier than trying to cut on lines, but still requires hand strength and more advanced fine motor skills.


PLAY DOUGH LETTERS

Materials You Will Need: Play Dough
What To Do
Have your child roll medium sized balls of Play Dough into 6 inch ropes. Ask your child to choose a letter to make and then see if your child can use the rope of Play Dough to do so.
If this is challenging for your child, write the letter on paper first, then let your child form the Play Dough on top to match.

DOT TO DOT
Materials You Will Need: piece of paper, markers
What To Do
Write your child’s name on paper using dots, (5 or 6 per letter), instead of lines. Have your child start with the first dot and connect the dots.
Hopefully your child will recognize his/her name! Try this with the names of other family members if your child enjoys this activity.

TALLY MARKS
Materials You Will Need: small number of objects, paper and pencil
What To Do
Today’s activity will introduce tally marks to your child as a new way to represent quantities. This is especially good for a child who is challenged by writing numerals. Tally marks to show the numeral 4: ////
Place 4 blocks or objects in front of your child. Show your child how to make a tally mark for each block. It’s not important that you use a slash for the 5th object at this point, if you are counting that high.

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