FOR THE LOVE OF
Writing with my Toddler
My son gravitated to the keyboard. Anything he could do to get to an open computer and clack away on the keys, he would. While this isn’t "writing" this was the first time I saw him dive into the way we write. He knew we had a pattern to typing, he knew when you moved your fingers here marks showed up there. It was something, early, but something.
Then came the chalk. One of the first, DIY pieces I made for my Johnnie was a huge outdoor chalkboard. This was for a couple nerdy reasons. It had to be huge because he was too young to control small movements. I wanted his big writing strokes to show up, count and not be on my wall.
It had to be up on a wall because this is where kids start. The swiping motion, kids begin with is easier to do when it is placed in front of them. If i started with a table top, I would also be suggesting that my toddler sit as he wrote, and my kid doesn't love to sit. I knew he would make a mark earlier if I put it on the wall.
I also knew he would watch his writing closer up on the wall. Ever see a kid drawing on a table and not even looking at it, totally typical, but less likely when they are drawing on something right in front of them.
The wall chalk moved to floor chalk (and then everything chalk), totally on its own when the time was right, but the wall got us those writing motions just a tad earlier.
Here is how we built our awesome chalk wall:
We mixed 1 cup of exterior paint with 4 tablespoons of tile grout.
We used this mixture to paint three separate pieces of plywood, mixing more paint and grout when necessary.
Then hubby did some magic with a drill, screws and washers...and ta-da!
Chalk also gave us our first writing routine. Every-time we were outside he and I would take a piece of chalk each and I would write his name in big bold capital letters chanting, J, O, H, N and then underline it as I said “JOHN”. This routine has followed us to every writing set up we have created and at 20 months, John could spell his name and find it around the house.
Now, we have moved on to a writing center, although chalk play lives on.
Yup, not even two and he has a home writing center, not that you are shocked. More on that next post.