We’re formulating new goals for the year for our preschooler right now, and a portion of those goals focus on pre-writing and writing skills.
I’d also like to be using our light table more than we have been.
How about combining the two?
5 Pre-Writing Activities to Use with a Light Table
- Letter Tracing with Stencils – So I took the long, hard way here. I freehand drew uppercase letters (don’t look too close; they’re a bit ugly) and cut out the inside of the letter. I then laminated the letters. When we placed a letter on the light table, my son could take his finger and trace the inside of the letter to begin to learn how to form each letter. A way easier method: if you have actual cardstock or plastic stencils (that are large enough), just use those and have your child trace inside the open portion of the stencil. Regardless, my son loved this activity. The light shines through the lamination and illuminates where he should trace. He went through about 16 letters in one sitting without taking a break! I hand-over-hand modeled how to write the letter once or twice, then he practiced once or twice on his own (with guidance if needed).
Variations: If your child is ready, they can use a wet erase marker and draw the letter on the lamination. Or, you can place a piece of white paper over top of the letter and draw the letter with a crayon.
- Letter Tracing on Transparencies – To make these simply, write the letter backwards on a small piece of transparency. When you take these letter cards to the light table, flip them over so marker doesn’t wipe off as your child tracing the letter (or place another transparency on top). As your child’s prewriting skills progress, you can allow them to trace over the letter with a wet erase marker to practice. I drew lower case letters since I used uppercase letters with the first activity.
UPDATE: I created a free printable of lowercase letters that you use to make your own traceable letters on transparencies! Click here to download your free lowercase letters template for transparencies. Read the directions on the first page for effective use.
- Forming Letters with Pipe Cleaners – You can do this activity with or without a light table, but it adds another layer of fun when you put the pipe cleaner on the light table. I asked my son to form an “o,” which he was able to do. I formed one or two other letters with a pipe cleaner and ask him to identify each. (My toddler was able to jump in and identify some letters, too.) He wasn’t as interested in this activity this time, but we’ll try again soon.
- Letter and Sound Matching – In this post at Caution: Twins at Play, she shares an example of how her kids drew a line to match a letter to an item starting with that letter. Matching activities like these help with pre-writing skills, too.
- Letter Writing in Sand – Place a shallow layer of sand (1/2” or 1”) in a clear plastic container, then set the container on top of a light table. Draw letters in the sand and allow your child to trace over your letters or draw their own letters and shapes. This post at Learn, Play, Imagine shows how they used Epsom salts for a similar activity and more sensory play.
For more light table activity ideas, check out my Light Table board on Pinterest and the “Light Tables, Light Boxes, Light Panels, and Light Play” group board on Pinterest.
What prewriting activities could you modify for use on a light table? Please share your ideas in the comments!
This post was a featured post at Lessons Learnt Journal!
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, the Weekly Kids Co-op, and Show and Share Saturday.