Today we’re sharing some of our favorite ideas for setting up an inspiring letter writing center.
If you’re familiar with this blog, you’ll know that I like to move my furniture around. A lot. A few weeks ago I moved our dining table back to the dining room. It’s so very traditional of us! Here’s how the space used to look. And then here’s the dining table (aka work table) in my studio space.
With the table in it’s new spot, we were ready for a new Creative Table invitation. Considering my three-year old’s growing interest in letter writing, I set up this simple prompt:
With the table clear, I placed a long wooden container in the middle of the table. Inside it were a:
- bucket of colored pencils
- bucket of crayons
- our self-stamp address stamper
- postage stamps
- address book
- a selection of envelopes and cards
This reminded me of the self-serve mail center I set up in a drawer for my older daughter a couple years back.
My three-year old got busy right away by pulling out her favorite rainbow colored pencil to work on a card for her grandpa. While we have to work on her pencil grip, she is very confident in holding writing tools in this way. Any tips for correcting this? Her preschool teacher recommends a triangle-shaped pencil grip.
We stuck with this for about thirty minutes and then we were on to the next project.
Tips for setting up a letter writing center
- Clear the table of extra clutter
- Keep the supplies simple
- Print or write out address labels for pre-writers
- Make it fun by adding some stickers or playful stamps
19 More Letter Writing Centers
You can’t go wrong with any of these 11 Inspiring Writing Centers from Playful Learning.
If you like to make your own books, check out Homemade Books: An Invitation to Write from Creative with Kids.
And the Handmade Books Center from Soule Mama will give you even more ideas.
How to Create a Writing Station for Children from My Little Bookcase shows some amazing before and after photos.
Make Writing Irresistible from Nurture Store gives us some good tips on how to make writing fun.
The Family Mailbox from Let’s Lasso the Moon is a great way to build a new family tradition around writing.
This Christmas Writing Station from Teach Preschool is so thoughtful, and not just for Christmas. One of my favorites.
The Recycled Materials Writing Station from Growing Book by Book is one that will save your pocket book.
Inspired by Playful Learning, this gorgeous Letter Writing Station from Sew Liberated is beyond inspiring.
My son really didn’t want to learn proper pencil grasp. The tip at about .30 of this video was what worked with him. It is sort of a pick it up and flip it over type of thing. http://www.icanteachmychild.com/correct-pencil-grip/
Thank you, V! That’s a really cool tip. I’m so glad that you shared it and look forward to giving it a try.
Handwriting Without Tears recommends to use golfer’s short pencils and skinny crayons that have been broken in half. I teach PreK. The past 3 years I have start each year with broken crayons and the short pencils. In general I don’t have to do anything to teach grip. A few students need a cotton ball pillow for the pinkie and ring finger to hold while the child makes a tripod grip. They like the pillow and after a while they don’t need the cotton ball.
That’s a great idea. I wonder if I can effectively hide all of our regular-sized drawing tools for a couple weeks?
Tip for correcting pencil grip: Lay a pencil in front of your daughter with the tip (led) pointing toward her. Then instruct her to pick the pencil up with only her pointer finger and thumb (pincer grip). Once she has done that, show her how to let the pencil fall into place and then where to place her other fingers. After giving it a try for a week or so, she’ll get it!
I love this idea of a writing invitation!!
Thank you so much, Brigette! We’ll give this a try.
Thank you for sharing our writing station. So many other inspiring spaces here.
It’s funny that I rarely move our furniture around (unless we buy a new piece), because changing my bedroom was a weekly affair when I was at home with my parents.
I love your writing station, Jackie. I think my furniture-moving habit has something to do with needing to live in a state of change. I get fidgety and unsettled when things stay the same for too long!
Actually, we are looking at pencil grip here, too. I learnt from our Educational Psychologist that triangle grips are actually inappropriate because they place too much pressure on the fingers and, as teachers, we’re trying to encourage a relaxed grip. She suggested simply using a sharp pair of scissors or a knife to cut a line around each pencil where we want the child’s fingers to rest. Then all we need to do is instruct the child to feel the line with their thumb, pointer and middle finger. The tactile reminder is great, as is the reminder that we never stop learning new tips and things 🙂
Thanks for the update on the triangle grip, Cathy! I don’t know too much about this and I appreciate the info. That’s a cool tip to score a line into the pencil — I never would have thought of that!
Love, love these ideas! Thanks so much for our including our recycled writing station.
You’re so welcome, Jodie! I love the recycled station — why buy new when you can upcycle?
Hi! About the pencil grip thing, try having her hold a small piece of paper towel or Kleenex with her pinky and ring fingers while she holds the pencil. Worked the first time with both my littles. After a few times, she won’t need the paper wad and the grip will become natural.
Thanks so much, Jacquelyn. We haven’t started in on this project yet and I’m so grateful to have a big handful of ideas to help us. Thank you!!
Hey there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if
that would be okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.
I taped up a picture of a hand holding the pencil in front of my then 4 year old. I gently encouraged him to mimic what he saw to help him write and… in a couple of days he was. I tried to introduce the concept without force.
That’s a great idea, Laura. Thank you!
acer chromebook review youtube
Very interesting article! You are a great fellow! You do cool things!
Comments are closed.