Have you discovered PicMonkey yet? It’s full of wonderfully creative features. I use it regularly to jazz up and edit my photos, and I also love creating invitations and thank you cards with the program. But I’ve recently discovered a new way to use it.
A few months ago the team at PicMonkey added a new collection of fonts, effects and overlays related to the theme of school. I must admit I got quite excited when I spotted the lines and dashes.
I couldn’t resist having a little play with this new feature and, inadvertently, I created some pre-writing cards that I thought could form the basis for a new busy bag.
We love visiting cafés and we have lots of medical appointments for Ike (which means lots of time spent in waiting rooms). I love having a range of busy bags to pack for these occasions.
CREATING THE PRE-WRITING BUSY BAG:
1. Print the pre-writing cards. You can download them here.
2. Laminate and cut the cards
3. Hole-punch the cards and secure with a ring
4. Add the cards to a sandwich bag, along with a white board marker and a stop watch.
5 ways to use the pre-writing cards:
- Starting at the dot and finishing at the arrow, simply encourage your child to trace along the line with the whiteboard marker at their own pace.
- Time-trial: See how long it takes your child to complete each card. Have a go yourself too.
- Personal Best: Ask your child to try and improve their time.
- How Many?:How many cards can you complete in 20 seconds? 30 seconds? 1 minute?
- Mr. Squiggle: Turn the traced lines into pictures (e.g. snake, caterpillar)
These cards were simply meant to act as an activity that Cam could have fun with while waiting for doctors or babycinos to arrive. There was originally no intention to turn these cards into any sort of lesson. However, while playing games with these cards, children will develop many skills and understandings that will prepare them for handwriting:
- Development of fine motor skills
- Development of hand-eye coordination
- Development of pencil/pen grip
- Learning where to start writing on a page
- Learning to write from left to right
- Development of writing fluency
- Producing broad handwriting movements
- Preparing to form letters