Writing Time 31/7/23
Given how commonplace handwriting is in our everyday lives, it’s easy to forget how important a warm-up activity can be for young students who are just learning.
A good warm-up will activate the muscles, stimulate the nerves and increase the mind-muscle connection.
We have collated some ideas to help you get creative with classroom resources and get little hands ready for writing.
Play dough is a classroom classic. It allows for fun and imagination, involves in-hand manipulation and intrinsic muscle action and is perfect for warming up hands!
There are many ways to use play dough to fire up your students’ fine motor skills. Ask students to make different-sized balls or snakes of different lengths. Perhaps be specific and ask them to make four balls, three snakes and one flat circle. Students can then use these shapes to make an animal creation that can sit on their desk and ‘supervise’ their handwriting.
Sensory trays are fantastic additions to any early years classroom because they can be used for a variety of fine motor activities in a number of ways. You can purchase them in many shapes and sizes or even make them yourself!
To make sensory trays, you will need a container, such as a wooden tray or a raised-edge plate, and something to fill the tray, such as sand or rice.
Once you’re all set up with sensory trays, make sure you have examples of letters and numbers prominently displayed in your classroom or on your students’ desks. Students can refer to these when practising their strokes and ranges of motion with their fingers or a blunt pencil.
If you are short on time or resources, using our Writing Time Online See & Trace tool is a great way to introduce your students to handwriting without the need for physical tools. Project the See & Trace tool and use it for class modelling, or have students jump online and use their finger or a mouse to trace and draw the letters.
If you’ve ever taught in early primary, chances are you’ve seen letter reversals in a student’s handwriting. While the idea of writing reversed letters may seem unnatural to someone with years of handwriting experience (like yourself), almost all children around…