Try this simple activity to work on prewriting skills. Practice drawing straight lines on sticks and curved lines on stones with water and a paintbrush. What’s the best part of this activity?? The materials are completely reusable. You can practice over and over again once the sticks and stones dry!
My youngest is four and is eager to write his name. He tries so hard, but his fine motor skills aren’t quite there yet. In a world of worksheets, it can be difficult to find developmentally appropriate ways to support these emerging prewriting skills. But don’t worry, I have a fun and engaging way to practice writing curved and straight lines.
Why curved and straight lines?
Good question, alphabet letters and numbers are made up of curved, straight and a combination of these two lines. Giving children the opportunity to write these strokes, will set them up for success for writing numbers and letters! Luckily sticks make for the perfect surface to practice writing straight lines and round stones offer the perfect place to practice curved lines.
Add water and a paintbrush with those beautiful pieces of nature and your little writer will be busy for a while!
- Sticks and stones
- Cup for water
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Here’s What We Did:
Set out your supplies for the activity. We searched for straight sticks outside and scoured our rock collection for a few of our favorite rocks. I grabbed a couple paintbrushes, filled a jar with water and we were all set!
I told Leo that we were going to practice making different types of lines on the stick and stones. He was all in when I told him this would help him learn how to write his name! I showed him how to trace the outside edge of the stones to practice curved lines and he joined in right away. He was excited to make the “o” in Leo!
Once he got that down, we worked on the letters a, c, and e.
Next we painted the sticks. At one point we put two sticks together to make an “L” for Leo. He had fun following the sticks to make the first letter in his name!
After about 20 minutes, we were finishing up with the activity.
At this point, Leo continued to play with the materials. He had fun painting the rocks his own way and and kept saying “how pretty the water made the rocks!” It’s true, painting rocks with water brings out their colors and naturally beauty. It’s also very soothing. I noticed Leo was calm during this activity, which isn’t typical for him!
It was nice to watch him engaged and focused in a playful activity.
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I hope you give this simple activity a try! I promise, your little nature lovers will love it as much as my boys.