Writing in the Early Childhood classroom is important.
Even though preschool writing may not look like traditional writing, it is an important part of the literacy process.
But, have you ever struggled with getting your preschoolers to go to the writing center?
Yep, me too. When given the choice, my traditional writing center with pencils, pens and paper was not too appealing when up against a sensory tub full of sand or a grocery store in the drama center.
My traditional writing center was just not cuttin' it.
The goals I had for my writing center are for children to get a writing utensil in their hand and make marks that are meaningful to them. I want children to enjoy this experience and I want to throw a little fine motor in there too.
So, I knew- it's time to start changing it up!
My plan was to draw them into the writing center with new, exciting and different materials. I knew that if I could draw their attention in, they would come and write- as a preschooler can- and my writing center goals would be met.
But, what kinds of new, exciting and different materials can be added?
Here are just a few ideas:
Start out simple...
Adding clipboards makes everything more exciting! Clipboards are a tool children don't get to use too often, making them exciting!
Think beyond white paper... envelopes, post-it notes and index cards are also tools not available to most children on a regular basis- making them exciting and new.
Move beyond just pencils. Ballpoint pens, highlighters and smelly markers make interesting writing utensils for children to explore.
Then, start collecting more writing tools and activities...
Boogie Boards are a fun way to encourage writing, and it erases with a push of a button!
Wooly Willy is an old-school magnetic fun board. I like it because it gets a pencil-like tool in children's hands and they make strokes to move the magnets inside.
Water Wow is a big hit in our classroom. You fill up a tube with a paintbrush on the end. You use the brush on the special cards- we have alphabet cards- and images and colors appear.