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writing and drawing

You know that your child needs to learn some basic visual motor skills in order to be successful in school. For whatever reason, your child is not interested or may even be resistant to writing and drawing activities.

Many little boys (and some girls) are more motor-driven, kinetic learners who often have little interest in sitting down to draw or learn to write. So what may have initially been a slight lag, over time, becomes a more significant issue and delay, due to lack of practice with writing and drawing.

Make the Writing and Drawing Activity Fun

The solution is often to come at these activities sideways, so that your child does not associate the activity with his or her prejudice against ‘table tasks’.

Vary the location used.  An activity met with resistance inside may be more fun outside, or done under the table or taped to the wall.

Allow for large motor movement if needed, for example have a treasure hunt to find the supplies needed.

Sometimes your child may be more receptive to activities done with a sibling, friend, or grandparent.

Fun Ideas for Writing and Drawing Activities

Keep sessions short and frequent. Ten to twenty minutes at least once a day is a good goal. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Bake Painted Cookies 

Mixing and rolling out the dough is great heavy work for hands and arms.

Decorating the cookies with a paintbrush is highly motivating.

Weave into Pretend Play

Incorporate drawing and writing into pretend games.

Play Restaurant

Make a kid’s menu for a play restaurant.  Trace the play food.  Write out the meal labels.

Play Museum

Build a museum with toy animals in the exhibit.  Then make labels for the museum.  Draw or write the names of animals, dinosaurs, etc. in the exhibit.

Play Train Station

Make tickets for a train ride.  Set up the toy trains and build a ticket booth out of legos.  Have the little people sell these custom made tickets.

Play Pirates

Make a pirate flag, map, and hat.  Dress up like a pirate.  Every good pirate needs a flag on his ship and a hat on his head.  Of course, pirates love nothing more than searching for buried treasure – they will indeed need a map!

How to Make a Pirate Flag

How to Make a Pirate Map

How to Make a Pirate Hat

Science of Nature

Keep a field notebook, filled with documentation of things found on walks.

To encourage writing and drawing, leaves can be traced or used to make a rubbing. Make rubbings of different kinds of tree bark.

Can you find any sticks or stones that will make a mark on the page?  Trace them too!

Art and Science of Leaf Rubbing

Tracing the Veins of a Leaf

Science Experiments

Try simple experiments.

To build find motor skills, have your child use eye droppers or small syringes to drop colored vinegar onto a tray of baking soda to create mini volcanoes.

This activity is also great for color mixing.  Just in case there is an allergy to dyes, consider natural dyes in the primary colors.

Go Dot to Dot

Look for high success writing and drawing activities.

Use dot-to-dot pictures and stencils to allow your child to produce a recognizable drawing.

For some children tracing paper can also be highly motivating.

Paint and Bubbly

Practice shapes and letters in foam soap or finger paint, spread on a table or tray.  Shapes and letters are easy to erase, change and correct.

If your child is resistant to touching, provide plastic gloves or put the foam soap in a large ziplock bag and draw on from the outside.

Play in the Mud

Create a variety of mud drawings.

The same child who has no interest in writing and drawing on paper, may be highly motivated to draw in mud with either a stick or finger.

Encourage your child to make drawings that don’t have to look like anything in particular.

Or to get specific, consider something wild  For example, let’s make, giant lines or circles, squiggly snakes, fireworks, tornadoes or volcanoes.

Discover Success with Writing and Drawing Activities

Even the most reluctant child can find success and engagement with visual motor activities suited to their learning style and temperament. Success builds upon success. The child who has found satisfaction with a wide variety of visual motor activities is much better poised to meet the demands and expectations of school. Follow my Fine Motor Pinterest board  for ongoing ideas.