Is My Child the Pre-School Type?

You’ve managed to get through potty training and leaving your little one alone for the first time. But now that the big moment has arrived, you’re having doubts. Is my child old enough to start an early learning program?

The short answer is yes. From the moment your child is born, they are ready to learn. Your child is learning at an incredibly rapid pace in the first five years, and that learning will affect them for the rest of their life. They are building their brain pathways, and for that, they need to be stimulated. Children of any age are thrilled to go to school if that school is set up for them to explore even beyond what they can explore at home, so rest assured that your child is not too young to go to school.

Understanding the Early Learning Myth:

For many parents, deciding whether or not to send their child to pre-school is not an easy decision. Not only are there conflicting opinions from critics who believe children should stay at home as long as possible, but there is such a wide range in the types of early learning programs offered, that the choice can become overwhelming.

Luckily, with a little education, you can cut through the chaos and make a sound choice that will benefit your child for years to come.  In order to do this there are two myths that need to be distilled.

  1. Your Child is Not too Young to Learn

Children’s curiosity is high during early childhood because they have an acute need to understand the world around them. A good early learning school knows this and provides plenty of opportunities for children to experiment and to continue developing at an optimum level. A great early learning school goes even further and observes your child as an individual, ensuring that they are challenged and always have something new and interesting to discover or learn. The key is choosing a school caters specifically to your child’s temperament and interests.

  1. Your Child is Definitely the “pre-school type”

Some parents look at their child running wild in the park, yelling at the top of their lungs, and conclude their child is not right for pre-school. This is complete nonsense. If you feel that your child is not “ready,” you have not found the right early learning environment.

It is true, you want to avoid environments that mimic elementary schools, expecting children to sit on chairs for hours on end, work quietly, or listen to the teacher without interrupting. These types of programs are not only boring, but also inappropriate for a young child.

Learning and play can be one and the same. By this we do not mean either or, but a perfect combination of both. Modern early learning schools will not simply provide your child with some time to learn intermeshed with some time to play. Instead, every activity feels like play to your child, but is designed specifically with learning objectives in mind.

In these schools, play is the way students learn music, math, science, and reading and writing. Through play, children will also learn empathy and social skills. The difference between this play and just regular play is the training of the teachers and the strength of the curriculum. The program is designed to enhance your child’s development during the brain’s most formative years.

We know from early learning and brain development research that children excel in an environment of this type. So if you have a feeling that your child is not the pre-school type, you just have not found the right pre-school.

How do you know when you’ve found the right school?

Armed with this knowledge, carefully interview the schools you are interested in. A good program will stimulate your child’s development, not just mimic the activities you do at home. The curriculum will not be strict, but should have clear learning objectives. Look for programs where the learning is not taught solely by just by seeing and listening. Children have to experience things (touch them, hold them, taste them, feel them) in order to learn.

Once you are satisfied with the program, you still need to make sure that the social group is the right one for your child. If your child is the only two year old in a group of five year olds, the group may not be ideal for your child. If children are the right age but are relating to each other in an aggressive manner, you might want to look for a better fit for your child. Find a place where teachers seem happy, children seem happy, and where you feel your child would perfectly fit in.

Lastly, discuss your child’s particular interests with the teachers, and ensure that those are part of the curriculum. Does your child love painting? Riding a bike? Making rocket ships out of giant cardboard boxes? Chances are, the right program will have all of these components.

Once you’ve found the right fit, I guarantee you these will be the most memorable school years in your child’s life.


Curves Practice Sheet (Level 3) – Jumping Frogs

These worksheets are used at our CEFA Early Learning schools for our 2 to 3 year old children (Junior Kindergarten One and Two), to prepare them for writing alphabet letters and numbers, amongst other things. They are the exact fine motor skills required for your child to learn to form letters.

This line specifically also teaches your child to follow the left to right direction as they will do when reading (in English), so it has an added benefit.

If your child is not attending our schools and you would like to try these at home, make sure you follow the directions indicated on the large letters (green means start, red means stop, and the arrows will point you in the right direction.

We teach this to our students one child at a time, as the teacher needs to observe to make sure the child is following the right directions (otherwise they are learning it and practicing it wrong, which will impact their writing skills in the future). Make sure you do the same so your child can learn to write the right way (no pun intended!)

You can download this practice sheet here.

Best Ages for This Activity

Two to three

How to Make It

What You Will Need

  • Paper
  • A printer

Let’s Get Started!

  • Print the practice sheet
  • Invite your child to practice writing
  • Show them the practice sheet and invite them to trace it with their index finger first (without using a writing utensil first). Say “green says go” at the green dot, and “red says stop” at the red one. Also say “the arrow tells us to go this way” and try “gooooooo (as you trace with your finger) and stop! (as you arrive at the red dot)".
  • Now repeat the process with a writing utensil. Give them a fine felt marker if they are beginners, because a pencil is harder for them.
  • Only do a maximum of two of these worksheets. If your child wants to keep working, invite them to draw at the back of their worksheet. Drawing is an excellent fine motor activity to prepare your child to write.
  • If your child can perfectly follow the line without going (too) slowly, they are ready for a higher level of curves practice sheets next time (make sure you complete all the different curves for that level before moving on to the next level).

Learning Opportunities

This activity will give your child literacy skills: they will learn writing skills as they trace the letters and reading skills as they learn to follow from left to right.

Your child will also learn vocabulary by telling you about what they see on the page.

Extended Learning Opportunities

  • Draw on the back of this practice sheet. This is great for their imagination and creativity, as well as for their fine motor skills. If you talk about the colours your child is using, it will also teach them math (colour recognition).
  • Help your child make “snakes” or lines with play dough and “trace” the line on the practice sheet (where they drew) with the play dough lines. This will further reinforce your child’s understanding of this particular curve, as well as enhance their fine motor skills, which are essential for writing. you can find my homemade playdough recipe here.
  • Use cereal, lentils or pony beads to follow the curve instead of tracing it. This will enhance their fine motor skills, which are essential for writing.

  • Invite your child to cut the practice sheet (one finished) into a few pieces and then put the pieces back together (a home-made puzzle). This will help them acquire scissor skills.
  • help your child write their name at the bottom of the practice sheet

Curves Practice Sheet (Level 2) – Bouncing Balls

These worksheets are used at our CEFA Early Learning schools for our 2 year old children (Junior Kindergarten One), to prepare them for writing alphabet letters and numbers, amongst other things. They are the exact fine motor skills required for your child to learn to form letters.

This line specifically also teaches your child to follow the left to right direction as they will do when reading (in English), so it has an added benefit.

If your child is not attending our schools and you would like to try these at home, make sure you follow the directions indicated on the large letters (green means start, red means stop, and the arrows will point you in the right direction.

We teach this to our students one child at a time, as the teacher needs to observe to make sure the child is following the right directions (otherwise they are learning it and practicing it wrong, which will impact their writing skills in the future). Make sure you do the same so your child can learn to write the right way (no pun intended!)

You can download this practice sheet here.

Best Ages for This Activity

Two to three

How to Make It

What You Will Need

  • Paper
  • A printer

Let’s Get Started!

  • Print the practice sheet
  • Invite your child to practice writing
  • Show them the practice sheet and invite them to trace it with their index finger first (without using a writing utensil first). Say “green says go” at the green dot, and “red says stop” at the red one. Also say “the arrow tells us to go this way” and try “gooooooo (as you trace with your finger) and stop! (as you arrive at the red dot)".
  • Now repeat the process with a writing utensil. Give them a fine felt marker if they are beginners, because a pencil is harder for them.
  • Only do a maximum of two of these worksheets. If your child wants to keep working, invite them to draw at the back of their worksheet. Drawing is an excellent fine motor activity to prepare your child to write.
  • If your child can perfectly follow the line without going (too) slowly, they are ready for a higher level of curves practice sheets next time (make sure you complete all the different curves for that level before moving on to the next level).

Learning Opportunities

This activity will give your child literacy skills: they will learn writing skills as they trace the letters and reading skills as they learn to follow from left to right.

Your child will also learn vocabulary by telling you about what they see on the page.

Extended Learning Opportunities

  • Draw on the back of this practice sheet. This is great for their imagination and creativity, as well as for their fine motor skills. If you talk about the colours your child is using, it will also teach them math (colour recognition).
  • Help your child make “snakes” or lines with play dough and “trace” the line on the practice sheet (where they drew) with the play dough lines. This will further reinforce your child’s understanding of this particular curve, as well as enhance their fine motor skills, which are essential for writing. you can find my homemade playdough recipe here.
  • Use cereal, lentils or pony beads to follow the curve instead of tracing it. This will enhance their fine motor skills, which are essential for writing.

  • Invite your child to cut the practice sheet (one finished) into a few pieces and then put the pieces back together (a home-made puzzle). This will help them acquire scissor skills.
  • help your child write their name at the bottom of the practice sheet

Curves Practice Sheet (Level 1) – Bouncing Balls

These worksheets are used at our CEFA Early Learning schools for our 2 year old children (Junior Kindergarten One), to prepare them for writing alphabet letters and numbers, amongst other things. They are the exact fine motor skills required for your child to learn to form letters.

This line specifically also teaches your child to follow the left to right direction as they will do when reading (in English), so it has an added benefit.

If your child is not attending our schools and you would like to try these at home, make sure you follow the directions indicated on the large letters (green means start, red means stop, and the arrows will point you in the right direction.

We teach this to our students one child at a time, as the teacher needs to observe to make sure the child is following the right directions (otherwise they are learning it and practicing it wrong, which will impact their writing skills in the future). Make sure you do the same so your child can learn to write the right way (no pun intended!)

You can download this practice sheet here.

Best Ages for This Activity

Two to three

How to Make It

What You Will Need

  • Paper
  • A printer

Let’s Get Started!

  • Print the practice sheet
  • Invite your child to practice writing
  • Show them the practice sheet and invite them to trace it with their index finger first (without using a writing utensil first). Say “green says go” at the green dot, and “red says stop” at the red one. Also say “the arrow tells us to go this way” and try “gooooooo (as you trace with your finger) and stop! (as you arrive at the red dot)".
  • Now repeat the process with a writing utensil. Give them a fine felt marker if they are beginners, because a pencil is harder for them.
  • Only do a maximum of two of these worksheets. If your child wants to keep working, invite them to draw at the back of their worksheet. Drawing is an excellent fine motor activity to prepare your child to write.
  • If your child can perfectly follow the line without going (too) slowly, they are ready for a higher level of curves practice sheets next time (make sure you complete all the different curves for that level before moving on to the next level).

Learning Opportunities

This activity will give your child literacy skills: they will learn writing skills as they trace the letters and reading skills as they learn to follow from left to right.

Your child will also learn vocabulary by telling you about what they see on the page.

Extended Learning Opportunities

  • Draw on the back of this practice sheet. This is great for their imagination and creativity, as well as for their fine motor skills. If you talk about the colours your child is using, it will also teach them math (colour recognition).
  • Help your child make “snakes” or lines with play dough and “trace” the line on the practice sheet (where they drew) with the play dough lines. This will further reinforce your child’s understanding of this particular curve, as well as enhance their fine motor skills, which are essential for writing. you can find my homemade playdough recipe here.
  • Use cereal, lentils or pony beads to follow the curve instead of tracing it. This will enhance their fine motor skills, which are essential for writing.

  • Invite your child to cut the practice sheet (one finished) into a few pieces and then put the pieces back together (a home-made puzzle). This will help them acquire scissor skills.
  • help your child write their name at the bottom of the practice sheet

Melting Ice Painting

This is a fun art project that also teaches science when children witness the reaction between the ice and the salt. It is always a hit at our CEFA Early Learning schools, especially during summer camps! It is very simple and inexpensive to do and fascinating for the children – give it a try at home!

Best Ages for This Activity

Eight months to five years

How to Make It

Ingredients

  • Water
  • Any container that can go in the freezer
  • A few drops of gel food colouring (regular food colouring will work as well)
  • Coarse salt
  • A paintbrush (optional)
  • A tray if you have one, otherwise try this outside or somewhere easy to wipe, like the bathtub

Let’s Get Started!

  • The night before, pour some water into a large container and put it in the freezer. This will be your canvas.
  • Invite your child to try painting on ice
  • Together, prepare the “paint”: in separate cups or small bowls, pour a few drops of food colouring and add coarse salt. You can make as many colours as you like, and even mix colours for an added S.T.E.M. component (colour mixing). To benefit from the sensory experience of this activity, encourage your child to mix the salt and food colouring with their fingers. Take your time with this step – you child will learn so much from preparing this salt. Observe and discuss the process as much as possible with your child. For example:
    • How long does it take for the salt and food colouring to fully combine?
    • How many drops of food colouring does it take to achieve an intense colour?
    • What colours, mixed together, form other colours we could try? (you can invite your child to rub their hands or fingers together with a little bit of coloured salt in one hand, and a little bit of salt of another colour on the other, and see as they discover with delight what new colour they created)
    • How does the salt feel on their hands?
    • How many colours would they like to paint with?
  • Once all the colours are mixed, retrieve the container with the frozen ice “canvas” from the freezer and take it out of its mold.
  • Start painting on your ice canvas and take photos of your child and their painting during the process. Explain that their creation will not last very long because it will begin to melt, but that you can take photos of their masterpiece and immortalise it that way.
  • As your child adds the coloured salt to the ice block, they will notice that the salt begins to melt the ice, forming deep craters in the ice. This will be easy to observe because the colour will penetrate the crater – it is beautiful and fascinating.

  • Things you can discuss with your child:
    • What do you feel like painting?
    • Will you be painting with a paintbrush or use your fingers?
    • Do you want to try making a small sculpture instead? Shall we bring a spoon?
    • How long do you think your art piece will last before it melts completely? Should we measure how long it takes?
    • Once all the colours melt, what colour do you think the water will be?
    • Why do you think salt melts ice?
    • Where else do we use salt to melt ice? (relate this experiment to real life when in the winter, we salt ice on the streets)

Here is what happens in this experiment: Essentially, the salt makes it harder for the water molecules to bond together in their rigid structure. In water, salt is a solute, and it will break into its elements. So, if you’re using table salt, also known as sodium chloride (NaCl), to melt ice, the salt will dissolve into separate sodium ions and chloride ions.

Learning Opportunities

This is a great way to create a very different art piece, as it is not permanent. It literally changes as your child is painting. It also teaches S.T.E.M., especially if you take the time to observe the reaction as suggested above.

Make sure you use as much math vocabulary as you can (for example, measure time, measure intensity of colours, use words like faster/slower, deeper, on top of, inside, add, etc.) and use as many opportunities as you can to measure, compare, and mix colours. Name all the colours as well. You can make a video of your child doing this activity, which they can watch later and continue building on their learning experience.

Extended Learning Opportunities

  • Compare the reaction using fine salt for some colours and coarse salt for others. This will extend the S.T.E.M. learning.
  • See what happens if you use watercolours (and no salt) instead of coloured salt. This will extend the S.T.E.M. learning.
  • Find out what happens to the salt when we salt the streets? Where does it go? Discuss how it is not good for the environment. Did you know that chloride is very bad for the environment? It can kill aquatic animals once it gets in the water. This in turn affects other animal populations that rely on those sea creatures for nourishment. Chloride also dehydrates and kills plants and can alter soil composition, making it harder for vegetation to grow. While some other compounds that can melt ice and snow don’t include chloride, they are much more expensive than sodium chloride or calcium chloride (which is generally what is used to de-ice the streets in the winter). Figure out what can be used instead, and omit as a family to find alternative ways to melt ice in the winter, figuring out the pros and cons of other method (for example, melting the ice with hot water will work and will not affect the environment, but it also becomes very slippery ice once it freezes again. Heated driveways are a great way to prevent ice from forming in the first place, but they may be expensive to build, etc.) This will teach your child to contribute and to be responsible by helping preserve our marine life and environment. It will also teach your child to problem-solve and come up with solutions, which furthers S.T.E.M. learning and creativity.

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Curves Practice Sheet (Level 1) – Garbage and Recycling Truck

These worksheets are used at our CEFA Early Learning schools for our 2 year old children (Junior Kindergarten One), to prepare them for writing alphabet letters and numbers, amongst other things. They are the exact fine motor skills required for your child to learn to form letters.

This line specifically also teaches your child to follow the left to right direction as they will do when reading (in English), so it has an added benefit.

If your child is not attending our schools and you would like to try these at home, make sure you follow the directions indicated on the large letters (green means start, red means stop, and the arrows will point you in the right direction.

We teach this to our students one child at a time, as the teacher needs to observe to make sure the child is following the right directions (otherwise they are learning it and practicing it wrong, which will impact their writing skills in the future). Make sure you do the same so your child can learn to write the right way (no pun intended!)

You can download this practice sheet here.

Best Ages for This Activity

Two to three

How to Make It

What You Will Need

  • Paper
  • A printer

Let’s Get Started!

  • Print the practice sheet
  • Invite your child to practice writing
  • Show them the practice sheet and invite them to trace it with their index finger first (without using a writing utensil first). Say “green says go” at the green dot, and “red says stop” at the red one. Also say “the arrow tells us to go this way” and try “gooooooo (as you trace with your finger) and stop! (as you arrive at the red dot)".
  • Now repeat the process with a writing utensil. Give them a fine felt marker if they are beginners, because a pencil is harder for them.
  • Only do a maximum of two of these worksheets. If your child wants to keep working, invite them to draw at the back of their worksheet. Drawing is an excellent fine motor activity to prepare your child to write.
  • If your child can perfectly follow the line without going (too) slowly, they are ready for a higher level of curves practice sheets next time (make sure you complete all the different curves for that level before moving on to the next level).

Learning Opportunities

This activity will give your child literacy skills: they will learn writing skills as they trace the letters and reading skills as they learn to follow from left to right.

Your child will also learn vocabulary by telling you about what they see on the page.

Extended Learning Opportunities

  • Draw on the back of this practice sheet. This is great for their imagination and creativity, as well as for their fine motor skills. If you talk about the colours your child is using, it will also teach them math (colour recognition).
  • Help your child make “snakes” or lines with play dough and “trace” the line on the practice sheet (where they drew) with the play dough lines. This will further reinforce your child’s understanding of this particular curve, as well as enhance their fine motor skills, which are essential for writing. you can find my homemade playdough recipe here.
  • Use cereal, lentils or pony beads to follow the curve instead of tracing it. This will enhance their fine motor skills, which are essential for writing.

  • Invite your child to cut the practice sheet (one finished) into a few pieces and then put the pieces back together (a home-made puzzle). This will help them acquire scissor skills.
  • help your child write their name at the bottom of the practice sheet

Colour by Numbers – Butterfly

I used to love colour by numbers pages when I was little! I couldn’t wait to see how it looked once it was all coloured. For young children, these are great because they practice two essential skills: fine motor skills (which are needed for writing) and math (by teaching your child numbers and colours in this case). Plus, these are a nice quiet activity that helps your child develop focus and concentration while you are working beside them.

You can download this colour by numbers page here.

Best Ages for This Activity

Two to five

How to Make It

What You Will Need

Let’s get started!

  • Print the colour by number sheet and set it up in a quiet, sunny space where your child can colour. Put on some classical music if you like! Set up the coloured pencils next to the sheet so your child can easily access them.
  • Invite your child to colour and show them how to do it on this sheet:
    • You look at the number on one area
    • You see what colour corresponds to that number
    • You colour inside the whole area that has that number
    • Now look for the next area and see what number it has, and what colour corresponds to that number, then colour the entire area
    • If this is your child’s first time, or if they are very young, colour one are with them to demonstrate, and stay with them as they try another area
  • If your child prefers to choose their own colours and not to colour by number but instead to colour whatever colours they choose, that is great too! They can use it as a colouring page and let their own creativity flow. You can always print the sheet again if they want to try colouring by number!

Learning Opportunities

This activity will give your child literacy skills: they will learn to read the numbers and the names of the colours. They will also learn writing skills by trying to colour within a confined space. This takes different fine motor skills than drawing, and are a great precursor to writing. They will learn math by learning the numbers as well as the colours. Your child will also learn vocabulary by telling you about what they see on the page, and what they are thinking about while they colour. They will learn about music if you play classical music (or jazz, or any music) for them while they colour and tell them about the composer (or singer, or band).

Extended Learning Opportunities

  • Draw on the back of this colouring sheet. This is great for their imagination and creativity, as well as for their fine motor skills. They can also add to this colouring page once they finish colouring it (for example, add a sun, more butterflies, different flowers, clouds, or anything they like!
  • Invite your child to cut the colouring sheet (once finished) into a few pieces and then put the pieces back together (a home-made puzzle). This will help them acquire scissor skills.
  • Help your child write their name at the bottom of the practice sheet.

 

 

 

 

 

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Curves Practice Sheet (Level 1) – Fire Truck

These worksheets are used at our CEFA Early Learning schools for our 2 year old children (Junior Kindergarten One), to prepare them for writing alphabet letters and numbers, amongst other things. They are the exact fine motor skills required for your child to learn to form letters.

This line specifically also teaches your child to follow the left to right direction as they will do when reading (in English), so it has an added benefit.

If your child is not attending our schools and you would like to try these at home, make sure you follow the directions indicated on the large letters (green means start, red means stop, and the arrows will point you in the right direction.

We teach this to our students one child at a time, as the teacher needs to observe to make sure the child is following the right directions (otherwise they are learning it and practicing it wrong, which will impact their writing skills in the future). Make sure you do the same so your child can learn to write the right way (no pun intended!)

You can download this practice sheet here.

Best Ages for This Activity

Two to three

How to Make It

What You Will Need

  • Paper
  • A printer

Let’s Get Started!

  • Print the practice sheet
  • Invite your child to practice writing
  • Show them the practice sheet and invite them to trace it with their index finger first (without using a writing utensil first). Say “green says go” at the green dot, and “red says stop” at the red one. Also say “the arrow tells us to go this way” and try “gooooooo (as you trace with your finger) and stop! (as you arrive at the red dot)".
  • Now repeat the process with a writing utensil. Give them a fine felt marker if they are beginners, because a pencil is harder for them.
  • Only do a maximum of two of these worksheets. If your child wants to keep working, invite them to draw at the back of their worksheet. Drawing is an excellent fine motor activity to prepare your child to write.
  • If your child can perfectly follow the line without going (too) slowly, they are ready for a higher level of curves practice sheets next time (make sure you complete all the different curves for that level before moving on to the next level).

Learning Opportunities

This activity will give your child literacy skills: they will learn writing skills as they trace the letters and reading skills as they learn to follow from left to right.

Your child will also learn vocabulary by telling you about what they see on the page.

Extended Learning Opportunities

  • Draw on the back of this practice sheet. This is great for their imagination and creativity, as well as for their fine motor skills. If you talk about the colours your child is using, it will also teach them math (colour recognition).
  • Help your child make “snakes” or lines with play dough and “trace” the line on the practice sheet (where they drew) with the play dough lines. This will further reinforce your child’s understanding of this particular curve, as well as enhance their fine motor skills, which are essential for writing. you can find my homemade playdough recipe here.
  • Use cereal, lentils or pony beads to follow the curve instead of tracing it. This will enhance their fine motor skills, which are essential for writing.

  • Invite your child to cut the practice sheet (one finished) into a few pieces and then put the pieces back together (a home-made puzzle). This will help them acquire scissor skills.
  • help your child write their name at the bottom of the practice sheet

Curves Practice Sheet (Level 1) – Cars

These worksheets are used at our CEFA Early Learning schools for our 2 year old children (Junior Kindergarten One), to prepare them for writing alphabet letters and numbers, amongst other things. They are the exact fine motor skills required for your child to learn to form letters.

This line specifically also teaches your child to follow the left to right direction as they will do when reading (in English), so it has an added benefit.

If your child is not attending our schools and you would like to try these at home, make sure you follow the directions indicated on the large letters (green means start, red means stop, and the arrows will point you in the right direction.

We teach this to our students one child at a time, as the teacher needs to observe to make sure the child is following the right directions (otherwise they are learning it and practicing it wrong, which will impact their writing skills in the future). Make sure you do the same so your child can learn to write the right way (no pun intended!)

You can download this practice sheet here.

Best Ages for This Activity

Two to three

How to Make It

What You Will Need

  • Paper
  • A printer

Let’s Get Started!

  • Print the practice sheet
  • Invite your child to practice writing
  • Show them the practice sheet and invite them to trace it with their index finger first (without using a writing utensil first). Say “green says go” at the green dot, and “red says stop” at the red one. Also say “the arrow tells us to go this way” and try “gooooooo (as you trace with your finger) and stop! (as you arrive at the red dot)".
  • Now repeat the process with a writing utensil. Give them a fine felt marker if they are beginners, because a pencil is harder for them.
  • Only do a maximum of two of these worksheets. If your child wants to keep working, invite them to draw at the back of their worksheet. Drawing is an excellent fine motor activity to prepare your child to write.
  • If your child can perfectly follow the line without going (too) slowly, they are ready for a higher level of curves practice sheets next time (make sure you complete all the different curves for that level before moving on to the next level).

Learning Opportunities

This activity will give your child literacy skills: they will learn writing skills as they trace the letters and reading skills as they learn to follow from left to right.

Your child will also learn vocabulary by telling you about what they see on the page.

Extended Learning Opportunities

  • Draw on the back of this practice sheet. This is great for their imagination and creativity, as well as for their fine motor skills. If you talk about the colours your child is using, it will also teach them math (colour recognition).
  • Help your child make “snakes” or lines with play dough and “trace” the line on the practice sheet (where they drew) with the play dough lines. This will further reinforce your child’s understanding of this particular curve, as well as enhance their fine motor skills, which are essential for writing. you can find my homemade playdough recipe here.
  • Use cereal, lentils or pony beads to follow the curve instead of tracing it. This will enhance their fine motor skills, which are essential for writing.

  • Invite your child to cut the practice sheet (one finished) into a few pieces and then put the pieces back together (a home-made puzzle). This will help them acquire scissor skills.
  • help your child write their name at the bottom of the practice sheet

Pre-Writing with a Rainbow Salt Tray

Make this super easy rainbow salt tray for your child to spend hours tracing letters, drawing and practicing their fine motor skills, all the while learning to write with their senses – something we emphasize greatly at our CEFA Early Learning schools, to prepare children for writing. All you need is the cover of a shoebox, some coloured paper and salt!

Best Ages for This Activity

Zero to five (the little ones can draw while your two and three year olds can practice writing letters or words).

How to Make It

Ingredients

Optional Ingredients

Let’s Get Started!

  • Cut the construction paper in strips and place the pieces on the tray, like this:

  • With the clear tape, cover the coloured paper completely and press hard o there are no bumps or spots where the salt could accumulate (you want a smooth surface)
  • Pour the salt over the tray. It should be enough salt so it hides the colours, but not too much so your child can see the colours as soon as they begin tracing on the tray.
  • Not enough:

  • Too much:

  • Just right:

  • Invite your child to write on the tray.
  • You can provide words for them to trace
  • Or letters:

  • Lines (it is better if they use their fingers instead of a paintbrush, so they get the sensory component):

  • Or just see how much they enjoy free-styling:

Learning Opportunities

Children will learn writing, literacy and reading if they practice writing letters or words. They will benefit from sensory learning and if you “discover” the colours, they will also learn math. This tray is also a great opportunity for your child to focus and develop their attention span, as well as practice independent play. These are all important life skills.

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