Story by Senior Occupational Therapist Justine
The children at Johnson House preschool have been working hard on ‘pre-writing concepts’ in a play-based way. Pre-writing concepts can happen anywhere, especially away from a table, pencil and paper! Using toy cars, the children ‘drove’ them along patterns that form the foundation for writing.
Pre-writing skills are used to encourage, develop and support opportunities for children to have the confidence, precision and control needed for writing. Opportunities to master control of lines, curves and shapes is really important for later learning about how these patterns can then be pieced together to form a letter or number. Keeping the activity relatively ‘error free’ meant that the focus was on building confidence and skills–the best foundation for writing later on.
Working on a vertical surface helps to promote both gross and fine motor development. The upright posture engages the core muscles (abdominal and back muscles) and the larger surface area means more reaching and movement–so the shoulder and arm muscles are also developing strength and coordination. Working on vertical surfaces supports the progression towards dexterity and control as it encourages the proper wrist position (slight extension) for grasp and writing development.
Story by Educator Asima
At Johnson House toddlers we have been providing the creative experience of ‘still life’ painting for our children. Red flowers in a vase and a dish of red paint and flower cut outs with white paper were setup on our veranda table. The intention was to offer opportunities for our children to participate in a group discussion and to produce an individual art work.
Some of the children looked at the flower arrangement and pointed at the yellow circle in the middle of one flower and said, “it is pollen”, while others were more focused in pressing the flower cut outs onto the paper to create their art works.
It is great to see that our children using their expressive language to describe their visual art works while simultaneously exploring creativity. We will continue to explore a range of creative art experiences in the coming weeks with the children.