A Prepared Environment for Writing

There’s a great post on the Carrots Are Orange blog about all the ways to encourage writing in preschoolers. Here’s nine things I have out for my 3 1/2 year-old daughter to encourage writing.

1. The all-important sandpaper letters and numbers.


2. A sound table where I encourage my daughter to say the sound (or sounds) a letter makes while tracing the letter. The mirror is there so she can see her mouth move as she says the sound. I also have a white board at the sound table if she wants to experiment with handwriting. (We had a salt tray at this station for a while but after the third spill, I replaced it with something that stays clean.)


3. Metal insets for practice tracing straight and curved lines.


4. Homemade cursive tactile phonogram cards using blank PVC plastic and glitter glue. (These are new to the environment. I’m thinking of making a second sound table with them and pairing it with a chalk board.)


5. Number tracing with crayons. This is one of many wonderful presentations that I’ve learned from KHT Montessori training.


6. Letter tracing with markers. This idea is also from KHT Montessori training, as are the print-outs.


7. Lined paper and a number 2 pencil.


8. A Boogie Board LCD writing tablet.


9. A classic manual pencil sharpener (because the pencils around here get dull really quickly).


There’s more we do in this area with art supplies, especially paint brushes and q-tips. I’ll save that for another post though!


3 thoughts on “A Prepared Environment for Writing

  1. Hello! I noticed that you have all of the Montessori sandpaper letters out. Does your daughter know all of the sounds already? Howvare you using these?

  2. Hello Anonymous, My daughter will turn 4 in May 2014 (so she is 3 1/2 now) and yes, she does know all the letter names and letter sounds. She learned them quite early through songs we sing based on the Wordy Worm Reading program. The purpose of the sandpaper letters in our environment is for writing. I’ve shown my daughter how to trace the sandpaper letters with her fingers while saying the letter sound aloud. However, she has never chosen this work with me at home. I’ve tried pairing the sandpaper letters with a salt tracing tray and with a chalkboard, but she still has little interest. I’ve also tried doing crayon rubbings of the sandpaper letters and she wasn’t interested in that. There’s still a lot of time for her to take interest in them, so I’m leaving them out and waiting for her interest to grow.

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