I recently heard Rae Pica speak on the importance of moving while learning. This is active learning; engaging the body and mind. Research shows children learn best when they experience new ideas and concepts through play and movment. In an article Pica wrote titled In Defense of Active Learning, she explains that moving our bodies helps activate our brains. She had a few cute pre-writing movement ideas I thought would be fun to do at home with your little ones.
- Hand and Finger Activities: Sing "Open, Shut Them". Many libraries sing this song to begin their Storytimes. This song activates the brains of our babies, toddlers, and preschoolers as they practice their hand-eye coordination; a must-have pre-writing skill.
- Sky Writers: Use your index finger to "write" a letter, word, or a name in the sky. This will help your child practice the feeling of straight and curvy. You could take this a step further and pretend to put your sky writer in your belly button or on the tip of your nose while writing the word in the air. Kids love the belly button writer and it's super cute to watch too!
- The Above, Below, and On movement: Tape a line on the floor, use the straight edge of a rug or strech a ribbon across the floor and jump above the line, below the line, or on the line. This will help your child understand where to start and where to finish writing lower case and upper case letters. After playing this game, practice writing letters, words, or names on paper.
- Build a Story: Start a story and take turns adding to the plot creating the beginning, middle, and end of a story. For example, you could start this activity by saying, " Once there was a dog who..." and let your child add the next idea. Then you, or another family member contributes the following part of the story. This activity demonstrates the beginning, middle, and end of a story. It's a great way to pass the time in the car too!
-The Mirror Game: This game is important for replicating what the eye sees. This replication is what learning to write is all about. Stand infront of your child and take turns mimicing each others' movements. You and your child should try to move as if you were seeing a reflection of yourself in the mirror. Lucy does it best in this video clip below. Lucy is a crack up and I think this should have you and your child smiling too! Go ahead, throw on that Halloween costume while you do this!
Come to one of our 'Movin and Grovin' Fests'. The next fest is this Saturday, October 24th, at the Arvada Library and the Evergreen Library from 11:00am-4:00pm. We will have crafts!
Photo Credit: Neville Nel