preschool writing activities

Mayhem and Messy Play #10: Kids Scribble Messy Play

Have there been any scribble messy play art attacks on the walls, floors, or furniture at your house? Scribble messy play took to the stage here recently. Lots of kids got up close and personal with scribbles, as well as some adults, at the annual Children’s Book Fest hosted in the city.scribble book ruth ohi

Many of us have ‘been there and done that’ when it comes to early scribbles. Children’s author, Ruth Ohi, has just written and published a book called Scribble. In the story, the regular shapes of Circle, Triangle, and Square meet scribble. At first, they are not sure what to make of Scribble, but together they create waves on the water, a string to hold tight to a balloon, and more.


At the event, children were able to see and hear authors in small sessions. Ruth Ohi invited kids to come up to her giant easel and scribble. She talked to them and helped them feel comfortable in front of the group, called out Go, mimed scribbling herself with great animation and excitement, and then Stop. She added to the scribbles and it became a unicorn dragon. She passed out papers and crayons to all of the kids and encouraged them to scribble.  (in the photo above, we made the scribble lines darker in order to see them)scribble play ruth ohi

Seeing all the kids scribbling away reminded me of a blog post on the site Messy Monkeys, “learning to ‘dot dot dot’ and ‘scribble scribble scribble’ gives your child a head start in the muscle development required for when they (sob…) head off to school.” Just like children babble and coo when they are first learning to speak, they make random marks and scribble when they are first learning to write.

holiday art fun
photo courtesy of MFair

Scribbling can happen with crayons, pencils, chalk, paint, a stick, and more. As for options to paper—and the walls—they can scribble on sidewalks, driveways (watch for cars) and old sheets hung on a fence. Scribbles do not have to ‘be’ something. They might very well just be scribbles. As children scribble, they are not only learning about writing, they are experiencing the joy of creating and of expressing themselves in a form other than words. Could messy scribble play be part of your child’s day?


Readiness for Kindergarten – Holiday Writing & Drawing

kindergarten readiness pre-writingWhile learning the letters of the alphabet is not a requirement for all kindergarten programs, some familiarity and letter knowledge will help every child when it comes to basic kindergarten readiness. Motivating a young child to practice printing letters of the alphabet can be quite tricky. Printing is not an easy activity for kids–the necessary muscles and coordination for such fine motor control are still growing. Small muscle development is very much at the early stage for young children. We can spark kids interest and help them practice and develop control with activities that have a little challenge and a big appeal. What can have more appeal than adding their very own creation–in either letters or drawings–to holiday messages?
Christmas art tree
Do you need some placecards for a holiday meal? Are you sending any greetings in the mail to families and friends? A few colors, some paper and a space to work in and kids will eagerly contribute. In addition to helping develop small muscle skills, having kids “write” also helps them develop the the understanding that images on paper have meaning, which is a basic concept for both reading and writing. Drawing and coloring encourages readiness for kindergarten. Some sticky contact paper over a favorite drawing turns it into a placemat or special gift and will protect it for years to come. Do you see their little faces light up with pride and joy in their work?

P.S. Visit this site for some holiday placecards:

Kindergarten Readiness – Vacation List

Before heading off on the the family holiday, there are some super fun aspects just in the planning. Activity #1, counting down the days, incorporated math skills. #2, looking at photos and reading about where you are going links meaning and print. #3 tip is making a list.

Talking about what you might need and making a list can be great fun. Are you going somewhere warm? Check with your child if you will need snowpants. Talk about the items that need to be included on the list. Ask some crazy, silly questions mixed in with some sensible ones. Imagine the things you might be doing and what things are important to pack. Will you be skating? Are parachutes a good idea?

There are so many skills involved in just making a list. Planning, organizing, making decisions, comparing, real vs. imagined, making mental images, predicting–and these are only a few. Adding an element of humor to making the list starts the fun right at home. Let’s see, we might need some dragon toys. How about some …?

Kindergarten Readiness – Once Upon a Mud Puddle

Writing experiences can start before children are independently reading. A fundamental concept for learning to read is the understanding that print is a kind of talking written down. The squiggles on the page carry meaning. The earlier mud activities, walking in the rain to see puddles, talking about them, playing with muddy-colored play-dough, listening to … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Once Upon a Mud Puddle