As teachers, we know how important prewriting skills activities are for fine motor muscle development necessary for writing. In my Montessori classroom, we offered children many opportunities to naturally develop and refine those fine motor muscles. Activities like playdough, geoboards, push pinning (pokey pin art), and hole punching are all wonderful for developing fingers and hands, spatial awareness, one-to-one correspondence, and hand-eye coordination. If you’re looking to encourage prewriting skills and need some fresh ideas, keep scrolling!
One to One Correspondence
Got mini erasers, stickers, or dot markers? These one to one correspondence cards are perfect for refining the pincer grasp necessary for properly holding a pencil. This prewriting skills activity is super easy to prep for fine motor task boxes (as pictured), plus your students will be practicing beginning sounds too!
Geoboards are wonderful for strengthening little fingers and are amazing for fine motor development and hand-eye coordination. Your students will use rubber bands to create shapes on the geoboard. Switch out your geoboard cards throughout the school year for the holidays and seasons to keep your littles engaged time and time again!
Simple Playdough Shapes
Playdough – a classroom favorite and one of the best play-based prewriting skills activities there is! Working with dough has many benefits besides strengthening fine motor muscles – it’s calming, develops hand-eye coordination, strengthens dexterity, promotes creativity, and is wonderful for social skills. These beginner shapes are a great place to start with your students. They will work on forming simple shapes commonly found on more complex playdough mats. Once your students have mastered these shapes, it’s super fun to rotate your playdough mats throughout the year for the holidays and seasons!
Hole Punching Activities
Hole punching is an intermediate fine motor activity that is great for building finger, hand, and forearm muscles as well as hand-eye coordination. My students love collecting the “confetti” in a bin so that we can use it for art activities – usually outside of course! 🙂
One of my absolute favorite classic Montessori prewriting skills activities is the writing tray. It’s a fun way to practice writing strokes, letters, and numbers before picking up a pencil. Because it’s play-based and not “permanent” like using a pencil, it helps to build confidence while promoting hand-eye coordination. Soon your littles will be ready to use writing tools and paper!
Once my students are ready to pick up writing implements, I like to introduce a more concrete form of prewriting skills practice: line tracing cards. Simply laminate or place in a plastic pouch and pair with dry-erase markers.
Tracing pictures is a fun way to refine prewriting skills by working on pencil control and strengthening pencil grip. Change the picture cards for holidays and seasons to keep your littles engaged!
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