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Preschool: Pre-handwriting

After seeing a new pre-handwriting material presented during morning circle, a child was observed choosing it as her first work of the day. She carried the work to a table, filled the tiny pitcher with water, poured the water into a shallow dish and was ready to practice some wet finger writing. She drew smiley faces and a variety of shapes by using her wet finger on a small chalkboard. She practiced controlling her hand and correct posture as she sat up straight in her chair.

Many of the Montessori language materials are designed to aid the child in her development of pre-handwriting skills. Another material, referred to as rock painting, allows the child to practice her grasp and control with a small paintbrush while creating lines and designs with water on smooth rocks. Pin punching has recently been introduced in Preschool and has quickly become a popular work choice. Children use a jumbo pushpin to make tiny pierced holes along the black line of an image. These materials prepare the child for handwriting by encouraging hand-eye-coordination and strengthening pincer grip.

“The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.”

-Maria Montessori

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