To grasp and control pencils and crayons, your toddler needs plenty of time to explore and experiment with appropriate materials that develop fine motor skills. Encouraging him to push toy cars or trucks around is a fun way to give him some fine motor practice. Add to his driving experience by letting him dip the wheels in some water or paint. He’ll love making the lines and curves as his car does some Wheel Writing!
- toy car or truck
- paper grocery bag
- water or paint
- shallow dish or tray
- painter’s tape
Note: To extend the experience, you might read the recommended book Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry before or after presenting this activity.
Step 1: Cut a paper grocery bag down the side and then across the bottom to create a large piece of paper. Tape the paper down to the floor so that it doesn’t move. Pour some water or paint in a shallow dish and demonstrate how to dip the wheels of the toy car in the water or paint.
Step 2: Encourage your toddler to roll the car on the paper and watch how the lines form. Engage him in conversation and let him describe what he’s doing. Talk about the marks he’s creating, extend his vocabulary and use new words like straight, curvy, zig-zag, up, down and sideways.
Step 3: When he is finished, write your child’s name on the paper. As your toddler watches you writing, he’ll gain a better understanding of the use and purpose of writing. Hang his picture where others can see and comment on it. Encourage him to talk about how he created the picture.