Tracing & Writing Practice with Water on the Chalkboard

Jun 12, 2012

The other day, I was reminded by this post from TeachPreschool about the simplest, no-mess, no-fuss, fine motor activity that is, painting with water on a chalk board.

Sounds easy? You bet! And you'll probably be surprised by how long children will focus on an activity as simple as this.

So, you will need a chalkboard/blackboard, chalk, water and a paintbrush

Start by writing patterns, words, numbers etc. on the chalkboard with chalk for your child.,
Early handwriting practice normally starts with basic patterns like those you see above. Zigzags, waves, swirls, squiggles, dashes, dots, etc.

 Practicing fine motor skills and coordination to follow the chalk line with the water-dipped paintbrush.
These sort of flowing movements and control over lines etc. are the starting point for being able to write letters

Once your child has had a few goes of tracing your patterns and designs, let them try their own.
Here she discovered that the faster you go, the less accurate you are.

Practicing lower case letters for some added letter recognition

Handy Tips:

- Simplify this activity by simply playing "make the chalk disappear." Draw simple shapes and lines for your child to paint over. You could demonstrate how to paint just over the chalk or just let them remove it in any way they can

-Extend this activity by putting more of an emphasis on staying on the lines. If practicing handwriting letters, try indicating where your child should start painting the letter from so that they start to learn proper formation. For letter recognition, sing the alphabet song while painting to figure out which letter you're up to or let your child paint off all the letters they can name first etc.

- Make a maze on the chalkboard and paint your way through it

- Show your child how to wipe the excess water off the paintbrush before painting on the chalkboard so that the water doesn't run down your board.

- Try without chalk. Just painting on the blackboard with water is still tons of fun for kids!

- If you liked this idea, perhaps you would like our DIY Writing Board :)

- Looking for more Early Literacy Ideas? Have a look at our 5 Easy and FUN Ideas for encouraging drawing, writing and creating with your young child.

Debs :)

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  1. I can't wait to put this to work with my little grand who we believe may be dyslexic. Extending the arm and writing letters in large motions helps train the brain to see what everyone else sees when reading.

    1. Fabulous Jeannie. Good to know. Thanks for your comment :)

  2. Such a fun way to practice early literacy and writing skills :)

  3. I have no doubt my little guys is going to LOVE this. Trying it tomorrow...thank you!

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