Preposition and Pre-Writing Activity

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Sometimes, spur-of-the-moment activities are the best, and this was one of them. Learning is lots more fun when you can use your favorite toys in the sensory bin! This preposition and pre-writing activity is sure to be a hit with your kids too.

Preposition and Pre-Writing Activity (with favorite toys!)

We have a box with blue kinetic sand in that we haven’t played with for a while. When I bought these Dory and Marlin toys, I added them to this box along with some shells. The intention was to have a simple sensory box, with no structured activities planned. BUT, the opportunity arose to work on preposition skills (something my 3 year old still struggles with) and then pre-writing skills too!


Like I said, this was not a planned activity and very playful, and that made it a hit! We were simply playing with the fish and instructions were given:

  • Place Dory on top of the shell
  • Let Dory swim to the right and the left of the shell
  • Place Dory behind the shell
  • Place Dory under the shell


Then, for a pre-writing activity, we played that Dory must follow Marlin. Wherever Marlin (I had him) went, Dory went too! I intentionally moved Marlin from the right to the left, in writing movements. You can see in the image below which basic pre-writing movements we made. During this, I also used different vocabulary: swim around the shells, swimming above the shells, jumping on the shells, swimming around the shells, swimming below the shells etc.

As you can see, a simple setup like this, with any favorite toy, could be a lovely way to work on preposition, pre-writing skills and language too, all in a playful manner. I would leave this sensory bin out and the kids will play in different ways with it, making it a fabulous activity, even if not planned.

Variations for older students

I took this box together with the fish toys to school one day. (We are working on the “sh” sound with one of the grades.) I have an autistic boy in my therapy group and need to think of ways to keep his attention and get him to participate. He had the box in front of him and I added the flash cards of words they need to learn, one by one in the box. Dory and Marlin did the “reading” by “swimming” past the word. This was great for him since he didn’t do the “talking.”

Add any favorite toy to a sensory box and work on these skills while playing and having fun!

More Writing Fun

Have beginning writers? Looking for more ways to encourage them to write? Here are some of our favorite activities!

Tracing and Coloring Pages

It Looked Like Spilt Milk Writing and Art Activity

Foam Sticker Writing Activity

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