Fall Writing Tray: Early Writing through Pretend PlayMy Firefly got happily prewriting/ writing/ drawing in this Acorns and Squirrels sand tray. She tried writing trays at different times before. They can be filled with sand, salt, foam. She loved them and worked with them for several minutes max. I know: short attention span. But prewriting doesn't have to be boring; and kids learn better through play - including writing!
Hence, our new fall sensory bin has gone a sand writing tray. It is working nicely! Acorns and Squirrels sand tray is based on the book "Acorns Everywhere!" by Kevin Sherry.
- Do you want to write a message to the squirrel?
- No, I am a squirrel, and I want to find acorns.
- Then what are you writing now?
- Oh, look, it is "M" is for Mom!
Acorns Everywhere! Preschool ActivitiesOur sand tray is based on the book "Acorns Everywhere!" by Kevin Sherry. My Firefly loved following the adventures of a squirrel in the fall forest. There are not many words in this book: all the actions are through the pictures, and the repetition of the words makes the book a nice first book for reading!
The squirrel needs to gather... dig.. bury... acorns. That makes her hungry, but she forgets where all the acorns are hidden! Squirrel got scared by the bear, but the bear does not want her acorns, he needs berries.
Acorns and Squirrels Writing Sand TrayThe tray is a plastic serving tray. It is transparent. So I taped fall leaves and acorns themed pictures under the tray. When we drew or wrote in the sand, the pictures underneath became visible and created fun fall impressions.
There is just enough play sand on the tray to cover it in a thin layer. I added some colored sand and glitter on top in yellow, red, and purple colors.
We added some finds from nature to create the fun forest floor. The squirrel is "just pretend", but the toy bear with his berries is there if we need him. Also, there are some Playmobil toys and miniature baskets and buckets.
Preschool Writing Activities TrayTo keep the space open for writing and drawing, there is an additional container for toys. So that My Firefly starts her playing with writing activity, then adds more items to the tray as she goes.
I love how the toys and nature materials are not a distraction for writing. They make this early writing meaningful and engage in writing practice in a fun way.
Do your little ones like their prewriting or early writing activities? Which ones are their favorites?
Related articles from My Bright Firefly:
13 Most Exciting Ideas for Learning with Spiders
30 + Creative Fall Sensory Bins
Tips for Making Coloring Activities Fun
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