Prewriting Activity Cotton Swab Painting via Lessons Learnt Journal

“Your sons have a really nice pencil grip”. I can’t help but beam ear to ear at such comments about their prewriting skills because these boys, my 5 year old twins, are as rough and tumble as they come. If I could bottle up their energy levels and sell it, I would be a rich, rich lady.

So, for these boys’ to come to a point where they can sit long enough and build up their prewriting skills so they can hold that pencil in that beautiful tripod grasp, is no mean feat.

We don’t fill our day with loads of prewriting worksheets; simply because they aren’t engaged for very long with such prewriting activities. Instead, they have built up their prewriting skills mainly through play. Hours of building up their fine motor skills through:

Here is fun way to build up prewriting skills using a very simple art activity: painting with a cotton swab.

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You will need:

  • A large A3 sized piece of paper. If possible, use a thick heavy weight paper.
  • Cotton swabs
  • Food colouring in a small bowl or tub.

For our prewriting activity, we started by drawing wavy lines. I left it up to their discretion which direction the wavy lines would go along the page. N decided to draw his wavy lines vertically down the page, whereas M drew his wavy lines horizontally across the page from left to right.

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After the wavy lines have been drawn, we then practised drawing circles and then filling those circles in.

Using food colouring instead of paint was great because there was no drying time required. Although hands were stained during the activity, it washed off within a day or so.

Here are some prewriting strokes children can practice:

  • Straight lines, slanted to the right and slanted to the left
  • Curved lines, in an anti-clockwise direction and clockwise direction
  • Circles, in an anti-clockwise direction and clockwise direction.

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More Activities for Preschoolers

Three to Five: Playful Preschool is stuffed to the brim with tried, tested and loved playful learning ideas for preschoolers. There are 25+ ideas for preschoolers, ten printable resources and additional links to over 50 more activities. A great resource for parents. Download your copy here.

Games for Kids: Three to Five Playful Preschool eBook via Lessons Learnt Journal

N&M: 5 years, 4 months
October 2013
Activities for Children Life With Kids Lessons Learnt Journal

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About the author

Pauline Pauline & Lessons Learnt Journal is all about life with kids. Pauline is an Aussie mum and teacher who shares her love for play, math games, writing and reading activities. She believes that #playmatters, values curiosity & wonder, wisdom, obedience and respect. She also needs naps. When not blogging, she may be found virtually hoarding on Pinterest, trying to decide which Instagram filter to apply, or compulsively refreshing her Facebook feed.