I've decided it's time to get a little more structure and routine around here, so from now on, Wednesdays will be devoted to talking about 'ways' - ways to get certain things happening in your child's life or ways to use different materials and objects.
Today I'm looking at ways to include drawing and writing in children's play.
Drawing and writing is a great way to build on fine motor skills, eye-hand co-ordination and to get children enthusiastic about expressing themselves on paper.
Some children will happily sit down and draw for hours, relying only on their imagination and creativity. Other children are reluctant drawers and need a reason to pick up a pencil and a piece of paper.
I’ve found one of the best ways to get texta-shy kids drawing is to include pencils, pens, textas, paper and notebooks in their games.
This week I’ve put together some race sheets for my Ed. His favourite thing to do is to line his cars up in a race and talk about the order the cars have finished in. I thought a great way to get him to build on his written literacy skills would be to document the outcome of each race onto a “Race Sheet”. I set out a rough grid and he got together the coloured textas he needed to record the event.
Then he put the races together and coloured in the squares according to the order the cars finished in.
He adopted a letter code for his cars because sometimes he used two cars the same colour.
While he is technically not drawing in a creative, imaginative way, he is practicing some very basic writing skills and using his cognitive skills to record his cars in the order they race in. One of the biggest benefits is that he is just getting used to using textas and paper and recording his experiences. This will stand him in good stead for starting school next year.
There are other great benfits in this play too. He is:
Learning about ordinal numbers (eg. first, second, third)
Problem solving (eg. what to do when 2 cars have the same colour)
Using basic graphing skills
Here are some other great ways to include writing and drawing in play:
Encourage children to draw plans before they build with blocks
Always include a notepad and pen in dress up boxes
Cut small pieces of paper to make ‘tickets’ to include in play
Set up a post box with letters, envelopes and stamps
What creative ways do you include drawing and writing in your child’s play?