An Abundance of Antonyms

Children first attempt writing by scribbling marks. Around age four or so, they begin to distinguish writing from drawing. But the role of letters as the “true” meaning-markers in writing can still confuse children up to six years of age. In fact, one of the hardest things young children do as emerging readers and writers is learn how to turn marks into real words. Learning to write is hard because it requires children to use several physical and mental processes at once. Their tiny hands have to grasp and control a writing tool. Their active minds must focus attention on making marks that express ideas. But hardest of all, they must follow certain rules to make the marks readable later on and understandable to others. For all of these reasons, we incorporate writing into our daily routine with a variety of different activities, that not only aim to foster their fine motor skills, but add to their understanding of how words work. For this activity, your little one went on a hunt for different items around the front yard. They selected four different elements and placed them onto a tray to observe with a magnifying glass. Each of these four components was selected because of their contrasting qualities. One was hard, one was soft, one was wet, and one was dry. Your little one was then directed to trace the words with marker, and divide their paper into four different sections. As a result, your little one further strengthened their ability to handle a writing utensil as they investigated the patterns between different words.

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