Writing trays are the perfect sensory and fine motor invitation for children to explore mark making. Before a child even picks up a writing utensil they can practice making forms and eventually letters. For Thanksgiving, we created a writing tray with an irresistible material to watch how our kids' learning would unfold.
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We filled a shallow tray with cornmeal because it perfectly fit our Thanksgiving theme. Immediately our preschooler E started drawing and writing with her finger.
Once she explored the tactile experience of the cornmeal for a bit I made a turkey leg out of pipe cleaners. She loved stamping turkey track footprints in our writing tray!
When stamping these tracks, you get a reluctant writer to hold a pencil-like instrument without ever knowing they are working on the correct grasp.
During my work and discussion with E I realized what our toddler D was doing. Did you notice a few pictures up that he was threading pony beads onto our chopsticks? Even when he was using the chopstick to write it still had a bead on it!
He found his own motivating fine motor work in the materials we provided for exploration. I will be brainstorming how I can replicate this idea in several ways for him in the future.
Both kids loved sprinkling the cornmeal through their fingers. Cornmeal is a fantastic taste safe alternative to sand for sensory play!
With designs and beads we created a kid zen garden that we will be getting out again even when the holiday is over. The colors and textures are beautiful no matter the season!
Fine Motor Turkey Craft from House of Burke
DIY Lego Duplo Puzzle Busy Bag from School Time Snippets
Boredom Buster - Writing on Windows from P is for Preschooler
Christmas Fine Motor Sensory Search and Find from Little Bins For Little Hands
Christmas Activities Using Jingle Bells from Lalymom
Plastic Bag Flowers - Cutting Skills in Practice from Powerful Mothering
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