Writing is another important literacy skill and children need lots of opportunities. Strengthening those little hands and making it fun to write are important aspects of enhancing writing skills. Important brain connections are being made between visual, kinesthetic, and other literacy concept developments. Writing also integrates many developmental domains. The ability to understand that marks are representations of oral words is Cognitive and the exploration of making those representational marks is Creative expression. Additionally, desire to communicate with others is Social-Emotional and Communication development whereas, holding tools and coordinating movements is Physical Motor development. Opportunities for this rich school readiness skill cannot be discounted! It’s PRICELESS! So, here a few outdoor writing experiences that will have children scratching out messages in no time.
1. Turn the outdoor play house into a drive-thru bank, McDonalds, or a Taco stand—have wipe off boards or chalk boards inside and outside the house, post office, pumpkin stand, or gas station.
2. Provide clipboards for writing and drawing science observations.
3. Offer paint sticks or craft stick to write in the sand and dirt.
4. Provide space for sidewalk chalk.
5. Provide post-it note pads or small note pads so policeman can “write” tickets to speeding tricyclists.(is that a word?)
6. Provide chalk paint for fence or easel painting.
7. Write with various outdoor found objects—Try twigs, stones, acorns, etc dipped in a little paint for ‘ink’.
8. Sign-up lists for popular toys such as tricycles can be done on anything from a clipboard to a wipe-off board.
9. Map Making: Challenge children to draw a map of the playground. This could be to map a treasure hunt or to make a “path” to follow.
10. Challenge children to use their bodies to represent something (a flower growing, bird flying….).
11. Portable Book Making Kit: Assemble a tub with book making supplies such as blank books, markers, and pencils.
Check out this Writing Set! While it’s intended for indoor use, there are many outdoor themed pages. Putting a few on a clipboard for sitting in a shady outdoor area is a great idea…all the child needs is their finger to draw the paths!
Do you have other Writing ideas for taking literacy outside?