In the English language, one of our rules of print is that print goes from left to right when reading and writing. The Stamp the Road activity will give your child practice with left to right progression. In addition, the use of stamps and a stamp pad will help with the fine motor development and eye-hand coordination necessary for using drawing and writing tools like pencils and crayons.
- stamp pad and stamps
- paper (8.5” x 11” or 9” x 12”)
- black, green and red marker
- index cards
Step 1: Draw a winding road on a piece of plain white paper as shown in the example.
Step 2: Place a green circle at the beginning of the road on the left side. Place a red circle at the end of the road on the right side.
Step 3: Place the paper with the winding road, stamp pad and stamps on the table in front of your child.
Step 4: Tell your child that his job is to start stamping at the green dot on the left and stamp all the way across to the red dot at the end of the road. Remind him to try to stay on the road! (Note: Encourage your child to hold the stamp with his first three fingers, not a whole fisted grasp.)
Step 5: Continue as long as your child is interested.
Let your child stamp randomly on a blank sheet of paper. This is a great exercise for fine motor development. Your child will need to use firm pressure to push down on the stamp pad and then to transfer the image from the stamp to the paper. After your child is proficient in using stamps and a stamp pad, you might reintroduce the winding road.
Add an additional step to the activity. Use the index cards to create a set of number cards. Create four cards with a numeral from 1 to 4 written on each card.
Place the paper with the winding road, stamp pad and stamps, and number cards (face down) on the table in front of him. Ask your child to pick up the first number card and read the numeral.
Tell your child to stamp the road the same number of times as he sees on the number card, starting at the green dot on the left. For example, if the number card says ‘3’, he should stamp the road three times, moving from left to right.
Let your child pick the next card and continue to stamp until he gets all the way to the end (red dot on the right side).