We’ve been doing some homeschool organizing lately! (So have oodles of other homeschoolers right now, right?)
One big (and fun) addition to our homeschool materials is a preschool writing center.
I wanted to make basic writing tools available throughout the day for my preschoolers. Just as placing books in every room helps promote anytime reading (and same goes for fitness!), having writing materials ready for use encourages practice in those skills.
Organizing for a Preschool Writing Center
Our writing center setup is basic.
My sweet husband cut a piece of whiteboard, and we affixed the whiteboard on top of our shelving unit with Command strips. The whiteboard ideas is GREAT since it allows the kids to accidentally (and sometimes on purpose) write on the tabletop, but without actually damaging the wood of the shelf.
We have a small pencil holder with 8 (yes, just 8) crayons in it. I want materials available, but I (and the kids) also clean them up several times a day. That means the kids are using them (good!), but I also want to keep it all manageable. As the kids grow older, I’ll increase the number and type of writing materials set out. (We get other writing materials out as we need them for crafts and activities, and when I’m supervising more closely.)
The pencil holder also holds small pieces of paper ready for our mailbox!
I found this idea online (thank you, Pinterest), and we love it. After making the mailbox similarly to how this tutorial shared, I laminated one sheet of construction paper, put a Velcro strip on it and its companion portion on the back of the mailbox.
This allows us to take the mailbox down if we need/want to. My son can easily open and close the mailbox as wanted and loves sticking paper in it (even if he hasn’t actually written anything, hah).
We practice writing notes for Daddy to find in the morning before work (and Daddy writes back!), and we’ve written notes for other family members, visiting therapists, and more. When we first put up the mailbox, my son ran to any person who came over and signed “mailbox!” then tugged them over to see it. Adorable.
I also store scrap paper the kids can use at any point in one of the bins on the shelf below.
Setting up a preschool writing center keeps supplies easily accessible, which makes us much more likely to use the materials! (Read this post at The Homeschool Village for a little more about why I need to organize materials within reach to actually use them more.)
My Child Doesn’t Write Yet – Why Would I Have a Writing Center?
My son doesn’t write and he has various special needs that affect even his fine motor skills. Why would I make a writing center available to him?
- Practice. If he doesn’t practice, the skills won’t improve, right?
- Promote pretend play. I’m always looking for options to encourage pretend play since that’s a challenge for my son.
- Encourage thinking about others. Writing a letter requires the writer to think about the recipient. We can write letters to just tell something about ourselves, but letter writing often includes questions to the person receiving the letter or specific thoughts that might bless that person.
- Boost communication skills. Even if his writings are just scribbles right now, when he plays at the writing center, I usually ask him questions about who he’s writing to, what he’s saying, etc.
- Allow opportunities for open-ended play and creation. I’m really not that creative myself, so I sometimes need to remind myself to let my kids have multiple opportunities to create without my guidance. This writing center helps!
Want some ideas to use in a preschool writing center? Check out many ideas from around the web I’m collecting on my Home Preschool – Reading and Writing Pinterest board!
How do you promote early writing skills with your preschoolers? I love hearing new ideas, so please share in the comments!
This post is also linked up with The Homeschool Village’s Ultimate Homeschool Link-Up, Homeschool Creation’s Preschool and Kindergarten Corner, Tuesday Tots, Hearts for Home linkup, Tender Moments with Toddlers and Preschoolers, and the Weekly Kids Co-op.