Early Writing Workshop

Providing the opportunity to communicate thoughts through drawing and dictating is an early writing skill essential to literacy development in preschool children. In this workshop, families use their five senses to investigate their world. Children then draw pictures of their investigations while adults label the drawing based on the child's description. To support your preschooler’s first attempts at writing, try the following ideas.

Our hands-on environmental print workshop teaches families how to use this concept to strengthen children's early literacy skills.

Talk and Label

Use your senses—close your eyes and use your nose to investigate your world. Have several items in covered cups (cinnamon, onions, popcorn), and encourage your child to use their sense of smell to guess what’s in the cup. Use the senses sheet below to have your child draw their guess. Talk about the drawing and show that every picture has a word to describe it.

Download Senses Sheet.

What kinds of places can you investigate with your senses? Maybe the bedroom, kitchen, backyard, the park or a car ride? Bring a journal along for your child to draw their investigations! Be sure to talk about and label their pictures.
Check out Sid the Science Kid - What's That Smell.

Provide opportunities to write

Build a portable “writing kit” that can travel anywhere with you. Include paper, stickers and craft items, such as feathers, pom poms, buttons, glue, tape, stamps, envelopes, writing pads and various writing instruments.