Wednesday, April 8, 2020


I just love sharing these ideas that children can do at home with their parents!
What a special way to connect families with how children learn best!
What are pre-writing strokes?
There are several basic strokes that children need to draw before expecting them to make a letter or number. In order of development, the strokes are a vertical line, a horizontal line, a circle, a cross, a square, a diagonal line, an X, and a triangle. Here are some multi-sensory materials where children can experiment and practice making the pre-writing strokes.

Sensory Tub
Fill the bottom of a plastic tub with sand, rice, salt, grits, or another sensory material. Encourage children to make the strokes in the tub.


*Squirt shaving cream on a laminated table top or lunchroom tray. After free exploration, encourage children to practice making strokes.

Sidewalk Chalk
Provide children with chalk so they can practice strokes, shapes, and letters on paved surfaces.

Turn off the lights, give children a flashlight, and let them make shapes and letters on the wall.

Pencil Talk Stories

Pencil talk stories are a fun way to reinforce pre-writing strokes.  They can also help children develop top to bottom and left-to-right orientation. These stories should be told multiple times so children can practice and feel competent.

Let’s put a green dot at the top of the page to show us where to start. And let’s put a red dot down here at the bottom to show where our story will stop. Pick up your pencil and let’s use it to tell a story.

It’s a beautiful spring day, so let’s go for a walk.
The grass is growing nice and tall.

The sun is shining in the sky.
The clouds are rolling around.
The insects buzz up and down.
The little rabbits hop around.
The kites are flying in the air.
All of a sudden, the wind starts to blow.
The wind is blowing in every direction.
Better run home as fast as we can!
Home at last!

If your children enjoyed the "spring walk", here's another pencil talk story about a visit to the zoo.

Note!  Older children would probably enjoy creating their own pencil talk stories.