Righty or Lefty? Hand Dominance in Preschool

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When I was a Parent Educator, I had many families that asked about when their child would show a preference in hand domination.  I personally, am right handed.  Can't do a darn thing with my left!  My best friend from childhood is a lefty, but she could do lots of things with her right hand.  Lefties are far out-numbered, many say that we live in a right-handed world...and we probably do :)  So, when will you know which hand is your child's dominant hand?  Keep reading to find out what I've learned!

According to Marianne Gibbs from Write Out of the Box, children generally develop hand dominance between the ages of 4 and a half to 6 years of age.

So, this means that some Pre-K students may have not developed hand dominance yet.  Each student is different and it is important to embrace the differences.

As parents or teachers it is important that we do not force our hand dominance onto children.  Is the world a little easier for right-handed people (considering we are the majority)?  Yes, I suppose it is.  But, it is not appropriate to force or train your child’s hand to fit in with the majority.  We need to make sure to remember to hand children objects at their midline, or the belly button.  Even when our children are infants and we are handing them toys, try not to show a preference my handing the object to their right or left hand.

Can you imagine how frustrating it would be writing with your non-dominant hand, all because someone thought you should be right handed, when your left is where it’s at?

How do I know when my child’s hand dominance has emerged?  Well, observe them.  Do they cross their midline with a particular hand to grab something?  For example: if I were right handed and I reached to grab the salt and pepper that was to the left of me, using my right hand, I cross my midline to get the s&p.  If you see this repeatedly, chances are that the hand that is crossing the midline is their dominant hand.

Which is your dominant hand?

Pizza Shop Dramatic Play

Pizza Shop Pretend Play

Kids love pizza! I created this Pretend Pizza Shop in our Dramatic Play Center for my little pizza eaters! My littles love to pretend to be Chef’s in the Pizza Shop. I love that they are working together, negotiating roles and role-playing. Another bonus to this Pizza Shop set is the students are writing up order forms and tickets as they play! Check out what we have in this Pretend Play Center:

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Some props I have included in this Pizza Shop:

  • Play Pizza (wooden Melissa & Doug and some plastic sets)

  • Pizza Cutters

  • Cups

  • Plates

  • Utensils

  • Child-sized aprons

  • Pizza pans

  • Pizza toppings (came with the Melissa & Doug set)

  • Pizza boxes (clean, new)

  • Parmesan Cheese container (cleaned)

  • Placemats

  • Tablecloth

  • Pizza Order Forms

  • Menus

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Want to create your own Pizza Shop?

Encouraging Writing Through Read-Alouds

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Read Aloud time is my all-time favorite time of the day.

Maybe it is because I like to read in dramatic voices, or maybe it is because I love watching little ones fall in love with stories and authors... whatever the reason-  Read Aloud Time is very important to me!

While going through my Master's training, I learned about using reading to encourage writing.

If you stop and think about it, a read-aloud is just reading someone else's writing.

Even young children can be writers!  They can create their own stories and books through drawing and developmental writing.

Our little ones are most likely not reading themselves, but they are hearing us read.  They are gaining knowledge about text, writing and authors through us.

But, helping children learn about what it is to be a writer is not as simple as just reading a book to a child or class of children.

We teach our children how to be readers and writers through our reading alouds.
We have to remind ourselves to stop, ask questions, wonder aloud and point out not-so-obvious things to children.

What should early childhood teachers be helping children learn about authors and illustrators?  How can it be done through a read-aloud?

Check out this quick guide to help your littlest writers see their potential as story and content creators :

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Free Read Aloud Guide

Want to get even deeper into young children being authors?  Check out the book, Already Ready, Nurturing Young Writers in Preschool and Kindergarten by Katie Wood Ray and Matt Glover.