Writing Center Ideas for Preschool

Instructor: Kimberly Elliott

Kimberly teaches college humanities and has a master's degree in humanities.

Preschool-aged children are just beginning to develop the fine motor skills needed to be able to write clearly. Having a dedicated writing center in your home or preschool can help them develop these skills and prepare for kindergarten. Read on for ideas on what to include in your preschool writing center.

Model Letters

Young children are still learning to recognize letters, let alone write them correctly. Providing model letters to copy is essential in both recognition and duplication. There are many options available including:

  • Stickers with self-adhesive backing
  • Stamps and inkpads of different colors
  • Cut-outs from magazines, signs, etc. (larger samples work best)
  • Flashcards
  • Stencils

To provide variety without overwhelming students, the selection should be rotated every week or two. This ensures that children have ample time to experiment with the supplies without becoming bored.

Sample Words

To understand the significance of letter formation, and writing in general, it is important to provide children with examples of the written word. While the content should be taken into consideration, what is most important here is that they see how the written word applies to life. Some ideas of samples are:

  • Grocery and to do lists
  • Greeting cards or post cards
  • Calendars and date books
  • Name tags and business cards
  • Board books and kid-friendly magazines

With proper examples, children learn to appreciate the written word and its importance in all areas of our lives.

Small Muscle Development

Writing properly takes the development of fine motor skills and small muscle control. To help children cultivate these skills, it is imperative to provide them with items with which to work. Some of these items include:

  • Paper punches of letters and shapes
  • Staplers
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Tape

Working with these objects not only helps gain important motor skills, but they also engage children's imaginations. They inspire them to explore and create, which is another essential element of writing.

Writing Instruments

Finally, a writing center must provide the opportunity to write! Offering a variety of writing instruments will engage young minds to explore many ways to practice letter formation. Examples of great writing options include:

  • Individual white boards and markers
  • Individual chalkboards and chalk
  • Crayons, large and small
  • Markers, large and small
  • Pencils, both regular and colored
  • Pens
  • Paper of all types (copy paper, tracing paper, card stock, construction paper, etc.)

Allow children to explore a variety of these options each week. Let the creations be their own, but encourage them to continue practicing. Talk to them about what they made, and ask them to tell you about their creations. Be supportive of all their attempts at letter formation. Good form comes with practice, and practice comes from a supportive environment.

Additional Support

Study.com provides a number of options that will complement your teaching and help you gain confidence in your own early childhood education skills.

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