Play-dough is always a kid favorite which is why I created pre-writing shape play-dough mats! They are the perfect way to sneak in some extra fine and visual motor skill practice for beginner writers. Ready to roll?
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There are so many benefits with manipulating play-dough including:
- Fine motor precision: for little movements like pinching.
- Bilateral coordination: Using two hands for rolling the play dough.
- Tactile Stimulation: Playing with different textures.
- Hand Strength: Rolling, smashing, and pinching the dough.
Furthermore, there’s an awesome visual motor component with the addition of play-dough mats. I absolutely love watching how hard the kids work to roll their play-dough precisely to complete the pictures. It’s not only fun for them, but I get to happily watch as their fine motor skills improve.
Pre-Writing Shape Play-Dough Mats
One of the reasons I created these play-dough mats was to make a sometimes boring writing task fun! It’s so important that children learn and master most of these 9 pre-writing shapes before attempting actual handwriting with letters and numbers. The components of these shapes make up all uppercase letters! The pre-writing shapes include:
- Vertical line
- Horizontal line
- Cross (+)
- Left Diagonal
- Right Diagonal
Directions for Using the Play-Dough Mats
I recommend laminating each mat to make this activity easy to clean-up and reusable. You can use any type of dough. I love having the children complete the mats in the recommended pre-writing order which can be found on the last page of the printable. However, this activity is all about having fun so any order will do.
You May Need:
Using Sensory Play to Teach Handwriting
Using fun sensory items like play-dough to teach writing can make a huge difference in how children view writing in the future. Writing can be so intimidating to new learners (especially using traditional utensils like pencils and crayons) so I try to make it as fun as possible. Use your fingers to draw in shaving cream or form shapes using chalk or finger paints. There’s usually a higher chance of success with making the correct shape or letter since the activity is all about being creative and trying your best. Not to mention that learning these shapes in an enjoyable way will add to the child’s confidence with writing letters and numbers in the future!
Click on the button below to buy the pre-writing shape play dough mats!
Do you have any tips on making handwriting more fun? Let me know in the comments below!