PRE-WRITING STROKES DIY Kids Activities and FREE Montessori Worksheet Printable to promote fine motor control in toddlers and preschoolers.
Before your child learns to hold a pencil for the first time, s/he needs sufficient fine motor control and hand strength to be able to attempt the pre-writing strokes. So, we need to prepare the hand to hold a pen or a pencil WAY BEFORE your child is able to write! The best way to do it is through simple and engaging invitations to play and various sensory tracing trays and kids activities. Also, below, you will find a FREE Montessori Worksheet Printable to exercise small muscles of the hands!
A major component of pre-writing skills is pre-writing shapes. These are the pencil strokes that most letters, numbers, and early drawings are comprised of. They are typically mastered in sequential order, and to an age-specific level. These strokes include the following strokes: |, —, O, +, /, square, X, and Δ. So, tracing and forming proper strokes (horizontal, vertical, and diagonal) has a positive effect on handwriting abilities, as tracing lines are the prerequisite to letter formation!
LOOSE ITEMS TRACE THE LINE
If you think of it, all alphabet letters and numbers are made out of LINES and CURVES. And, the VERY FIRST LINE your little one will master at about two years of age is a vertical line, followed by a horizontal line, then slowly mastering curves in a circle, and finally being skillful at / slanted lines. So, in the above DIY, I drew ROW 1: straight line (seashells), ROW 2: curves (pom poms), ROW 3: straight vertical and horizontal (dyed chickpeas), ROW 4: slanted line represented by a zig-zag (match sticks). Besides, practicing pre-writing strokes and lines with loose items triggers tactile stimuli. (See this activity on IG HERE ~ TRACE THE LINES PRE-writing STROKES-DIY.)
BUTTONS TRACE THE LINE
Here is another way to practice pre-writing strokes! I used blue masking tape to make ROW 1: straight line, ROW 2: curves, ROW 3: slanted line represented by a zig-zag. Then offer your child any small loose items to trace the lines and curves. (We are using colorful wooden buttons.)
OCEAN TRACE THE LINE
How about adding a theme to your strokes tracing? Ocean has been one of the kids’ favorite themes and tracing with small shells, gravel and blue pom poms adds a fun twist!
Do vary PRE-WRITING STROKES Kids activities to sustain the engagement and keep the enthusiasm going!
You can see a shorter REEL on IG HERE.
LEFT TO RIGHT PROGRESSION
Also with these PRE-WRITING STROKES Kids Activities, your little one is learning LEFT to RIGHT progression which is a VERY valuable skill that sometimes goes unnoticed since it is so natural to us, adults. However it is NOT intuitive to little people and a lot has to happen in their brain to move objects with hands, as well as eyes from the left the right. We want to PRACTICE this skill because this is how we read and write.
PRE-WRITING STROKES Kids Activities
Children undergo 4 stages of drawing and writing:
- Stage 1: Random Scribbling (15 months to 2½ years).
- Stage 2: Controlled Scribbling (2 years to 3 years). Toddlers may make repeated marks on the page—open circles, diagonal, curved, horizontal, or vertical lines. Over time, children make the transition to holding the crayon or marker between their thumb and pointer finger – 🚨THIS IS WHEN YOU CAN ENCOURAGE following STROKES with loose items and STROKE TRACING!
- Stage 3: Lines and Patterns (2½ years to 3½ years) Children now understand that writing is made up of lines, curves, and repeated patterns. While they may not write actual letters, you may see components of letters in their drawing. These might include lines, dots, and curves.
- Stage 4: Pictures of Objects or People (3 years to 5 years).
- Stage 5: Letter and Word Practice (3 to 5 years).
Always supervise your children while they are learning through play.
MORE Montessori ACTIVITIES YOU MIGHT LIKE
DIY laminating tracing hack Montessori sensory writing tray is a fun and effective way for toddlers and preschoolers to practice pre-writing strokes and lines.
Free Preschool Printable Feed The Frog kids activity promotes hand-eye coordination and fine motor control while learning what amphibians eat
SALT PAINTING NAME RECOGNITION DIY promotes fine motor control, develops concentration and helps preschoolers and kindergartners spell own name.
Have you downloaded my NEW eBook THE BASICS? It has everything you need to know to get started on your Montessori journey, as well as a CURRICULUM outline reference guide, the order of lessons, and the age when they should be introduced, in my opinion. See details HERE.
Also, check out HERE Homeschooling Montessori MADE-EASY membership in case you are exhausted from swimming in the vast ocean of irrelevant information and saving activities you never get to! And if you sign UP, the eBook is included in the package amongst MANY other perks!
I am here to help! WE CAN DO THIS TOGETHER!