I actually got the idea from Pinterest (Salt Writing). Both of my kids LOVE to be included in EVERY activity that I do, so it is really hard sometimes to find ways to create activities that are challenging for both of them because of their age difference. So what happened this time?
Well, my daughter started with finger paints. I showed her on a piece of paper how to make a square (line by line I showed her), then she finger painted a square on her paper. She loves getting messy! We did the same thing with a triangle and a diamond. I have to say that she's not QUITE there. She had the square down before this activity. The triangle - she was still working on, but after this activity, she has got a LOT better. The diamond? She tried SO hard and was REALLY proud of the "diamond" that she made - and that is all that matters! I love the look on my kids faces when they are proud of themselves - and it makes me even more proud of them!
My son on the other hand does NOT like to get dirty, so that's where the idea from Pinterest came in handy. Simply a plate (with higher sides) and salt. We didn't have much salt left and for the next time I do this activity, I would probably use a cookie sheet or something else a little bigger with higher edges. It was nothing that couldn't be cleaned, it just would probably make less of a mess! His mission was to make lines and circles in the salt. Lines were easy for him and by the end, he started to make more curvy lines that looked more and more like a circle. You can see in the bottom picture. He was also very proud of himself. In the beginning he wasn't sure how to make anything but a line, so I just took his hand and made lots of circles with him.
- A paper and pencil are so boring when there are so many neat and creative ideas out there to teach your child how to copy - anything from lines and circles like my son, letters, more advanced shapes, etc.
- Another way to "fingerpaint" without the mess: Put paint in a ziplock bag (maybe tape it shut), then your child can push the paint around in the bag without getting their fingers dirty.
- Get a small chalkboard, chalk, small paintbrush and water. This would be more tracing than copying, but draw a letter/shape/line with the chalk and then the child "paints" over the lines with water.
- Outdoor Version: Do the same activity described above except with sidewalk chalk on a patio, fence or driveway.