I’m already beginning to hear jingle bells and Christmas music when I’m out and about, and while I hate the thought of rushing through the Thanksgiving holiday, I sure do love planning Christmas activities for my kiddos! And, I have been waiting to share some festive FREE Christmas Prewriting Cards with you!
Festive Christmas Prewriting Practice Cards
I do have to plan ahead. You know how I like to plan ahead. I have to start thinking about the details of my December lesson plans. (Because the bigger vision is already complete).
Specifically, I have to consider what journaling and prewriting practice will be appropriate for my preschoolers, to keep my students writing and growing all year.
The good news is that December’s theme is straight forward.
We’re talking elves, gingerbread men, reindeer, candy canes, stockings, decorative trees, bags of presents, Santa and the like. Christmas. (And, we’ll be learning about the Christmas story as well, because being a private, in-home preschool I get to do that!)
The thing about a Christmas theme is that it adds to the Christmas spirit that comes with the season. I welcome my preschoolers into my home and you can feel the heater running, which is so inviting to chilled, rosy cheeks, as my preschoolers take off their mittens, down coats and boots.
The house smells like Christmas with the scent of pine coming from the Christmas tree in the front room, and orange peels, vanilla pods, and cloves simmering on the stove.
So, my preschoolers come in, take off their boots and heavy winter coats, and sit down for circle time, which happens in front of the fireplace in the family room. They are all ready to learn in a cozy, warm, and decorated environment. And since Christmas is already on their cute little brains, we will spend the month of December really enjoying it.
Because of this, I’ve created some Christmas prewriting practice cards. It is a wonderful addition to all your Christmas writing activities.
Be sure to check out all the fun Christmas activities at the end of this post.
FAQ’s About Prewriting Skills
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 attempt writing 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.
Prewriting Cards for the Entire Year$16.00
* Preschool Literacy Centers BundleProduct on sale
Christmas Prewriting Practice Cards
This set of prewriting practice cards are completely free, and there are 30 cards, with different Christmas images and 10 different writing patterns.
Just one set is enough for a small class of preschoolers, and when laminated, cut and put on a binder ring they make a great addition to your Christmas writing center.
Tips for using Christmas Prewriting Cards
Here are some tried and true pointers for using these Christmas Prewriting Cards in your classroom:
- I like to have a cozy, festive area and call it my “Christmas Creative Writing Center.” I like to keep it stocked with other tracing strips, tracing worksheets and Christmas writing prompts, stickers, stamps, clip art, etc. for “journaling”
- Model the activity for the whole group before they have access to it. Emphasize how you take your time and focus on one line or shape at a time
- I like to model working from left to right and from top to bottom
- Have the children trace the patterns with their finger before using the marker
- Model how to erase each card completely before moving on to another one (sometimes I tell them they get to use their “strong muscles” to erase it clean, and of course we all flex!)
- You can also keep some unlaminated and have them available as Christmas prewriting worksheets for kids that are ready for pencil practice
Why we Emphasize Prewriting Practice in Early Childhood Education
Prewriting skills are the fundamental fine motor skills children need before they begin to write. Prioritizing these necessary skills is the developmentally appropriate way to teach writing instruction for toddlers and preschoolers.
Without building these pre-writing skills, children might get easily frustrated trying to hold a writing instrument, may not be able to grip a pencil for long, would most likely feel unsteady when trying to write and might subsequently have illegible writing.
Focusing on these prewriting skills now will prepare your young learners for success as elementary students and beyond.
Incorporating Prewriting Skills Practice in the Classroom is Easy and Fun!
If I could tell you the BEST thing about prewriting skills practice you would want to know it, right? Of course you would! Well, it’s no big secret and my guess is that you’ve already witnessed this to be true…
The BEST part about prewriting skills practice is that toddlers and preschoolers typically think it is SO MUCH FUN!
So, your job is to teach these important foundational prewriting skills to your toddlers and preschoolers and they might just BEG you to do it! That is win, win in my book.
Some examples of prewriting skills practice you can incorporate into your classroom or home include:
- Sorting activities using small manipulatives offer great fine motor/pincer grip practice
- Playdough activities offer fine motor skill building that little hands just love
- Ten frame counting cards and counting cards with mini manipulatives both offer number sense and counting practice as well as strengthening those fine motor skills.
- Wrapping gifts is a fun way for kids to engage a variety of fine motor skills. This wonderful time of year, I love to have a gift wrapping center for my kiddos and it’s always a hit!
- Cutting with scissors is both a necessary skill when entering kindergarten AND fantastic fine motor practice. Offer lots of scissors practice but keep in mind that this one needs to be supervised.
- Arts and crafts offer lots of fine motor and sometimes specialized pincer grip practice. This time of year their masterpieces often become favorite Christmas gifts for their families.
- Pipettes are fantastic for developing finger strength and the pincer grip as used in this fun frozen arctic animal activity
Get Your Christmas Prewriting Practice Cards
If you think your little one would enjoy these FREE Christmas prewriting practice cards, you can download them right here! Click the giant red download button below and we will send it right to your inbox!
Print them in color on heavy cardstock, cut them out, and laminate.
Just as Christmas is a wonderful time to be with family, it’s also a wonderful time to be learning with preschool friends. With all the jingling bells and holiday music, a set of Christmas theme prewriting practice cards makes a great addition to any lesson plans. And, since much of the work is completed already, it’s minimal prep for you during this special, yet busy, time of year.
Looking for More Christmas Ideas?
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.
Free Christmas Themed Prewriting Practice Cards // Stay At Home Educator