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    justinwilliams, Jessica D, Xtydell, lll, A WA parent
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    Joined: Jan 2015
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    NowWhat Offline OP
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    For the last 5-6 weeks my son (20 months) has been very interested in writing letters and words. As in, if you hand him a crayon, that's AAAAALLLLL he wants to do and he ask for his crayons to write 5-6 times a day. The major problem is that he does not have the motor skills to write yet and he is getting very frustrated. He can do O/o, I, M, a decent A, and a sort of Y and X depending on the day. I kind of wish he was happy scribbling but he is not. smirk If I give him a fat crayon for toddlers he has the typical fist grip but if I give him a thin crayon or pencil he uses a five finger grip which does help but he still doesn't have the coordination to really write.

    I've been all over Pinterest and found Montessori sand trays for writing and wondered if anyone had used this with toddlers who were determined to write? I thought it might work since he would only have to use his finger. I also saw sandpaper letters but since he wouldn't have a final product of a letter I don't think he would go for that one.

    The next crazy thing going on around here is "Mommy, write word in here." He constantly wants me to write words in his notebook with his crayons. I showed him his name and he got it in about 10 seconds. He definitely recognizes his name now and he has been recognizing words in his favorite books for a while so I know the ability exists at this point. I'm trying to follow his lead but I don't have a good idea of where to go. His favorite things are dump trucks, excavators, and bulldozers. Those words seem too complex and too long for such a young child to recognize. I thought about showing him stuff like dog and cat but I don't think he cares even a little about a dog or a cat. I'm happy to teach him words since he is showing interest and ability but I don't know where or how to start. Any ideas?

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    How about letter stamps? And lined paper? Not sure if that is age appropriate or not - but the letter stamps give you something to trace over. We have used very stubby crayons made for doing rubbings and these seemed helpful.

    Maybe fridge magnets? Or sight word stickers on the wall (you can light them up with a flashlight in a dark room to add an element of drama ...)

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    Fridge magnets are great to start making words at that age. I remember that I used to make a new word every morning and my DS used to come into the kitchen and try to read the new word and then we had discussions about what it was and how to pronounce it etc.

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    Word books? We had entire series of board books that were just a single picture with a word, organized by theme, that we got from the library. Animals, construction machines, household items, etc.

    We never liked fridge magnets, we never had enough sets to really spell with and they take up the entire fridge. Scrabble tiles work well, though. There's also a game called What's Gnu? that we used the tiles from; they are thin, plastic, have up/down clearly marked, and the letters are nearly 2" tall.

    Last edited by ljoy; 06/03/15 07:50 AM. Reason: Thought of game tiles
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    Don't worry about complex words. He'll treat them like sight words.


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    What cmguy said. Fridge magnets, letter blocks, stamps, alphabits cereal, alphabet pasta, etc. Maybe try paint? DD loved a big easel with rolls of paper, chalk on the driveway, "painting" with water on the driveway or side of the house, shaving cream on the wall of the tub/shower. Finger paints or "painting" with pudding are also fun.

    Our DD was similar, and at 3 went to a Montessori- many of the first activities are designed to support the early motor skills needed for writing. We did lots of clay and play-do type stuff, DD hated pin-punching but it has a similar goal, sewing cards and lacing-type activities, eventually moving to real sewing, lots of scissor-crafts, Lego and other building requiring hand strength- all can be helpful (though frustrating to a kid whose motor lags behind their brain).

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    I'm on my phone - so I hope this comes out without a ton of oddly spelled words lol!

    My kids were all in Montessori and they loved the writing in sand. Also wrote in shaving cream and loved that. Also had things called rainbow letters where there were large letters on paper written three times almost on top of each other in three different colors and the kids had to trace each letter in each color. My kids loved to paint when they were toddlers so you could have him paint big letters and then put them together into words. Sidewalk chalk is also fun and you. An write really large. I wouldn't worry about pencil size and grip yet - neither did our preschool. One thing I did for my ds was I would make "books" for him just out of construction paper that were about whatever he wanted me to write about -bulldozers,pizza, whatever. I didn't worry if a word was too big.

    We also read read read read to our kids -especially when they were toddlers. That's basically how my ds learned to read -just watching us read, no matter how complicated the book.

    And our kids loved refrigerator magnets too -

    Have fun!

    polarbear

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    Since it's summer how about giant sidewalk chalk?

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    Last edited by ChaosMitten; 06/03/15 08:33 AM.
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    NowWhat, a Montessori school would be perfect for your child when he's ready for school.

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