Learning to write is a very important skill for kindergarteners, which is why it’s crucial for preschoolers to get lots of practice. These line tracing worksheets are a great way for preschoolers to practice handwriting skills this summer. They would also go well with a desert themed lesson plan.
Cactus Prewriting Worksheets for Summer
Prewriting skills are the fundamental building blocks for children to be able to develop their writing.
So when I say that prewriting skills are fundamental skills to learning to write, then that means they shouldn’t be skipped.
So, what do we do when our writing center or our journal practice gets a little stale?
Have you tried these beach prewriting cards, or these ice cream cone prewriting cards, or heck! even this year-long bundle of thematic prewriting cards.
I’m here to add more to your prewriting worksheets for preschoolers, starting with these cactus prewriting worksheets!
FAQ About Teaching Writing Skills to Preschoolers
Prewriting skills are the fundamental skills preschoolers need to develop before they can effectively write and form letters. These skills include (but are not limited to) being able to draw, copy and color, and even just being able to make simple strokes with a pencil that mimic those found in writing. Prewriting is foundational to developing good handwriting skills.
A major prewriting skill is the ability to form the basic pencil strokes that make up all letters and numbers. They are as follows: |, —, O, +, /, square, \, X, and Δ. Focusing on building blocks outside of traditional letter and number tracing will help accomplish this. Children should practice hand and finger strength, crossing the midline, pencil grasp technique, hand-eye coordination, and even visual perception activities.
Some preschoolers will just sit down and start scribbling, drawing, or attempting to write letters. Others have no interest in using traditional writing materials. This is when all the hands-on activities mentioned above come in handy!
Allow your preschoolers to use playdough to make shapes or play with magnet letters. Or use magnet letters as stamps to make letter impressions! Sit down and make an alphabet book with your preschooler, or ask for help making a shopping list. Do loads of fine motor activities that force them to use the pincer grasp, like beading onto pipe cleaner or picking up small items.
About These Prewriting Worksheets for Preschoolers
Unlike my other free prewriting printables on my site, this cactus themed printable pack features a little bit of everything when it comes to tracing practice. That’s what makes it so good for summer learning!
Be sure to read to the end of this post for some of my ideas on how these prewriting cards can be used in different ways.
Cactus Themed Prewriting Practice Worksheets
This creative tracing pack for preschoolers has a variety of different prewriting practice including tracing lines, letters, shapes, and numbers. You get to choose which pages will help your preschoolers learn proper pencil grasp the best!
- cactus prewriting worksheets
- dry erase pouch
- dry erase markers
- small manipulatives
Once you’ve printed the tracing pages on regular paper, you can slip them into some dry erase pouches. Then set them on a table or in your writing center with dry erase markers.
Make Prewriting Practice Hands-On
Writing practice–especially in preschool–doesn’t have to be limited to pencil and paper activities. You can make any prewriting printables fun and hands-on by adding some small manipulatives to the activity.
Keep reading for more ideas! Read below about how I use these manipulatives to teach fine motor skills in my preschool writing center.
How to Use the Cactus Prewriting Activities
There are many ways to use these cactus prewriting worksheets, all of which will help your kids practice prewriting and fine motor skills. Your preschooler’s skill level will determine which writing activities you use below.
Use a Dry Erase Marker
Preschoolers with the ability to hold a writing utensil can practice tracing the lines and letters on these printables in a dry erase sleeve by using a dry erase marker.
Then using the pointer finger, have your child erase the written marks for more practice tracing lines and letters. Preschoolers love this part!
Use a Button
For preschoolers who are not ready to hold a marker, give them a button. Encourage your preschooler to slide the button along the lines. This will help them get a sense of feel for common line patterns that are found in writing letters.
Young learners can also use buttons or other small manipulatives to cover the tracing lines. This is an excellent way to build fine motor skills. *NOTE: Do not use a laminated sheet or a dry erase sleeve. It makes the surface too slick and frustrates preschoolers because the buttons won’t stay put.
Try Using a Pom Pom
Using a pom pom in the same way as the button activity described above is another great way for preschoolers to learn how to form lines and letters while also building fine motor strength by pinching the pom pom. Developing a good pincer grasp is important for a good pencil grip.
Stickers are fun too!
Another fun way to use these prewriting printables is to use stickers. Peeling small stickers is a great way for preschoolers to practice fine motor skills!
Encourage your young learner to stick stickers along the lines of a tracing sheet for a different kind of fine motor activity.
Don’t Forget Rainbow Writing!
Another perfect writing activity for kids is rainbow writing. With rainbow writing kids will trace a line or letter multiple times using different colored crayons or markers. This is a fun way to encourage preschoolers and kindergarteners to learn to write.
Hera are some fun writing tools I like to offer my students for rainbow writing activities.
ONE MORE NOTE ABOUT TEACHING PREWRITING SKILLS
Using tracing worksheets can help you get a feel for the various shapes of letters and numbers. With so many varied lines, this is an excellent exercise in brush control to learn how to use your pen or pencil without having it end up all over the paper!
When my preschoolers first begin using prewriting printables like these, I stress to them the importance of starting at the left and tracing to the right. This is the natural progression in forming letters, not to mention how we actually write in English. From left to right.
You might also like these prewriting freebies!
Get Your Free Cactus Prewriting Pack Here!
Think you want to add these desert prewriting tracing worksheets to your summer preschool activities? You can! Just fill out the form below and the PDF will be sent to your email.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.