Drawing/prewriting activities l ― O † □ \ X ∆ ◊
Below are approximations for the developmental sequence for drawing strokes. This varies highly as all children develop differently.
(age 2 to 3) (age 3 to 4) (age 5 to 6) (age 6)
- Children begin drawing by scribbling randomly. Some may scribble up and down in a vertical direction, side to side, and in circles.
Scribbling is a healthy way to explore drawing tools. Use all types of media: crayons, markers, pencils, paint, chalk, etc. Scribble with
sidewalk chalk or washable paint outdoors.
- To teach strokes, it makes sense to draw them within context. For example, for vertical lines draw a picture of a picket fence minus
the pickets. Have the child draw in the vertical lines after you've modelled a few. Or draw train tracks without the RXR ties, or cars
without tires, etc. There are commercially available workbooks with "finish-the-drawing" activities for purchase.
- Drawing within a large space, such as on a wall chalkboard, dry erase board or easel, helps children learn about the movement involved in
the shapes and strokes they are learning.
- Draw shapes within square boxes for using the attributes of a square as landmarks. For example, cut the box in half by drawing a
vertical line through the middle of it, then a horizontal line to make a cross. Instruct child to draw a line from one corner to the
opposite corner for a diagonal line and do it again to draw an X. Try a variety of shapes inside boxes. Remember to encourage drawing
strokes from top to bottom-- This will help when learning to write letters.
- Drawing diagonals is the most challenging to learn. Play games that involve diagonal relationships such as checkers, Chinese Checkers, Tic-
Tac-Toe or Connect Four, as examples.
- Draw shapes with a highlighter for the child to trace over
- Make shapes with sticks (toothpicks, popsicle sticks, Wikki Stix, etc.) for child to trace beside
- Have child use various materials (toothpicks, popsicle sticks, Wikki Stix, etc.) to make shapes
- Trace over shapes and simple pictures with tracing paper
- Draw around stencils of shapes and simple objects
- Create simple drawings by putting 2 to 3 shapes together to make common objects. As examples: a circle and stick to make a flower or
a lollipop, a triangle and a square make a house, a small square next to a large square with 2 circles underneath make a truck, a series of
circles make a caterpillar. There are several commercially available books of add-on drawings available in teachers stores, book stores
and on the internet.
- Half-to-Whole drawings: draw half of a simple picture (pizza, house, person, tree) and child draws the other half
- Connect-the-Dots activities
- Mazes: trace the way out first with your finger, then with a pencil or crayon
- Coloring books: children over age 4 should be encouraged to color inside the lines
- Lacing cards: try different ways to lace around the edges
- Stringing beads: copy bead patterns or create repeating patterns
- Geoboards: copy shapes and letters using rubber bands on geoboards
- Copy pegboard and Lite Brite designs
- String macaroni, cut straws, Fruit Loops: create patterns as appropriate to medium used
- Etch-A-Sketch: draw lines to connect several stickers; draw a maze on transparent paper and tape on the Etch-A-Sketch; diagonal lines
are particularly challenging
- Dress up dolls
Building Block Activities
- Ball play: medium and large balls to catch and throw; smaller balls for older children
- Bouncing medium and large balls
- Beanbag toss games: go for a target such as a container or bin: large at first and then smaller as skill improves
- Balloon volleyball; for added challenge place a marble or penny inside the balloon-- it will make more unpredictable
- Hit a balloon with a tennis racket or paddle
- Rolling ball with 2 hands: bowling by knocking over 2-liter soda bottles
- Flashlight tag: while lying on your back in a darkened room, play tag or follow the leader with your flashlight beams
- "Speed Stacks": a fun cup stacking game, the cups come in regular size for large grasp and small cups for finger grasp;
Right and Left side awareness
- Try this fun dice game: called "Left-Center-Right" at http://www.dicegames.com
- Play the Hokey Pokey or Simon Says; emphasize the right or left side
- Play games that incorporate movement and stamping the feet: military marching while calling out "left-right-left-right"
- Centepede game: children crouch-sit on the floor in a line and hold the ankles of the child behind them; call out "left-right" so that each
moves the left foot forward in unison, then right foot. Divide the group up for Centepede races; challenging and best for older children
- Put a sticker on the back of the right hand or a rubber band on the right wrist. Or have child wear a wristwatch.
- Play "I Spy" games and emphasize the right or left sides of the room, or on the page if using a book.
- Coloring inside the lines: Draw (outlining) over the lines first with a crayon, then color it in (child can be taught to outline their own
picture to color first before coloring it in with just a reminder-- "outline first")
- Coloring inside the lines: Use Wikki Stix or glue yarn around the area to be colored in; this acts as a boundary to contain coloring
- Difficulty stringing beads: Use plastic gimp or pipe cleaners instead of string
- Difficulty lining up math equations: use graph paper which can be modified with enlarged squares on a copy machine
- Hand-over-hand guidance is often needed to help a child get the feel for drawing a stroke or writing a letter.
- Writing and drawing on a vertical or slanted surface improves viewing, head position and hand/wrist position. Drawing can be done on an
easel or even on paper taped to a wall. A slant board can be placed on a desktop for writing tasks.
- Tummy writing: helps with developing shoulder stability and an upright head. This can be done for writing, drawing and play activities.
- Alternatives to writing by hand for children with significant challenges: learning computer skills, dictating to a scribe, having a peer
note-taker or getting a copy of notes,