Wednesday, October 16, 2013

12 Ideas for Happy Writing (That Don't Involve Writing)

Building a love for writing actually comes from more than writing activities.  Here are some other activities to take a look into doing for budding a growing writer.
1. Read Reading affects writing and writing affects reading.  These two babies go hand-in-hand.  Visit a library, go to the bookstore, read read read.  Once a day is not enough, you wouldn't brush your teeth once a day.  Reading together at least three times a day can make a difference in your child's literacy skills. 
2. Environmental Print Logos, brand names, and more are helping your child with literacy recognition skills that label their world. 
3. Label Get a label maker, get tape and paper, get whatever you want and label your house.  This gives them plenty of things to write if you have them write around the house.
4. Don't Stress Perfection  When your little one is writing, don't stress perfection.  Be okay with inventive spelling, don't correct every handwriting error you see, and know when to back off for the moment.  I'm not saying to avoid correcting handwriting and spelling, but not every moment has to be about it.  Let's focus on making writing happen and get on the handwriting and spelling when the time is right.
5. Tearing Let them tear tissue paper, newspaper, wrapping paper, junk mail, anything (that you don't mind being torn).  This helps build those fine motor skills for holding/manipulating the pencil on paper.
6. Play-dough Mash it, tear it, squish it, manipulate it.  Work those fine motor skills!
7. Sewing Don't set your little one up with the sewing machine.  Hole punch some cereal boxes and let them guide yarn through those.  You can buy lacing cards too but I'm pretty sure you've got a box of cereal in your house and the dollar store has yarn. 
8. Cutting Even if you aren't big on couponing, chances are that you get coupons in your mailbox.  Don't let them go to waste, let your little one strengthen their writing fingers by cutting the mess out of those things!  Seriously, it is a mess.
9. String Yarn, string, or floss.  These can be used with cereal, noodles, beads, for more finger exercises!  
10. Bottle Fun  Take an empty water bottle, soda bottle, juice bottle (no 2 liters, please) and fill it with cotton balls or pom poms.  Children can take them all out and put them all back in.  This is also great for quiet calm-downs. Keep it in your purse for on the go.
11. Shaving Cream On your table or in the tub, shaving cream is always creative scribble fun!

12. Cross Your Mindline Okay, am I talking another language now?  Crossing the mindline is about taking one hand to do movements on the other side of the body.  This helps to develop those fine motor skills and wake up your brain.  Dr. Jean's album "Better Brains and Bodies" is a great start.


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