Pre-Writing Skills – Game Time!

*Note I originally posted this in 2010 when my girls were little, but we have pulled this out again.  My three year old loves this game!!

Making learning fun is one of my mottos for creative education. This motto is exactly what drew me to the book Games for Learning. This book gives lots of ideas for games to play with pre-schoolers through third grade. These games help children develop academic skills. The first part of the book focuses not on exact academic skills, but skills that will translate into academic success: like visual memory, sound memory, and fine motor skills, as well as logical thinking and spatial thinking.

We like to play “Matching Numbers.” This game might accomplish some of the same things as doing a maze – thinking ahead and staying within the lines (which can translate into handwriting skills). We take turns drawing a line from #1 to #1, then #2 to #2, without crossing over another line.  This can be done with more numbers for more of a challenge and written in any random order.

We also like “Drawn to Order,” also good for handwriting practice.  We take turns tracing around a small design using different colors.  The design then gets bigger and bigger.  The fine motor skills are developed through drawing (with much less pressure) rather than writing letters.

There are also many word games, like rhyming games, spelling games, categorizing games.  

We haven’t gotten to play a lot of these games yet, but I really like the ideas and I look forward to trying out some more of these. In fact, while trying to write this post, I keep getting distracted reading some more ideas and trying them out on the kids.

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