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Teaching children pre-writing skills doesn’t have to be hard or stressful. Try this Play Dough and Glass Bead Pre-Writing Practice to help little hands develop the muscles and the skills needed for when they are ready to write. Plus, it’s super fun and irresistible to try!
*Pair with our Math and Literacy Clothespin Clip Cards BUNDLE for Pre-K!
Play Dough and Glass Bead Pre-Writing Practice
Play dough is one of those materials that children just love. It is so inviting to squeeze, pinch, roll, and just play with. Play dough has always been one of my “go-to” materials for both the classroom and at home.
It can be such a calming activity for children, and as someone who has been a classroom teacher of 24 preschool students, I know how important those calming resources are.
That is why play dough is something I like to implement (or have handy) on a regular basis!
One day my kids and I were playing with play dough and glass beads. It dawned on me that we could work on pre-writing skills at the same time… and they would have no clue that’s what we were even doing. It would just be fun!
I find that homemade play dough is the easiest to form into pre-writing shapes and letters. However, you can use store-bought play dough too if it’s what you have handy.
To prep the activity, gather the play dough and glass beads. I like to add everything to a lunch tray to contain the play dough mess and keep organized too.
Teacher Tip: Be sure to take safety precautions with the beads for children who are young or tempted to put them into their mouths.
To begin with pre-writing shapes, we made circles, spirals, dots, and lines. This is something that even young children can do..
Roll the playdough into pre-writing shapes: lines, zig-zags, curves, and more. Encourage children to place the glass beads onto the play dough.
These are also the shapes that you want children to start writing once they have an interest in a marker, pencil, crayon, or any other writing utensil.
Show the kids how to push the beads into the playdough, then let them continue the process.
My own daughter, who is two years old, absolutely loved this and wanted to do it over and over again.
For children who are working on letter writing and letter formation, this is great to do with letters. Use the lines and curves to form a letter and show how to form the letter correctly.
This glass bead and play dough pre-writing practice is super easy to put together and something that children will love to do… all while sneaking in some awesome literacy skills at the same time!
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