Did you know that the writing process begins long before a child even forms letters with a pencil. It involves building pre-writing skills (gross motor control, posture/core control, ability to cross the midline, bilateral coordination, pincer grasp, fine motor control, ability to form basic patterns), which is what we want any child to strive to build during the early years. To put it simply, teaching a child to write does not begin with letter formation, but rather by building all the pre-writing skills first.
The early years are all about setting the foundation for the rest of a child’s education. Creating inviting and intentional ways for children to mentally, academically, and physically prepare for writing in open-ended ways helps get them ready through developmentally appropriate practices and engaging manner that ignites their curiosity and wonder for learning.
Today we let the children explore the formation and shape of lots of different lines. On butcher paper we drew (tempera sticks/oil pastels)/taped (washi tape) out a whole bunch of different lines and designs and provided arctic figurines so the children could have them trace the lines by "ice skating" with arctic figurines.
When a child is invited to explore and play with open ended materials such as this, it gives them the opportunities to work on spatial awareness, exposes them to different formations of shapes/lines/designs/letters/numbers, attention to detail, enhancing their language skills as they communicate what they see or what they are doing in, developing attention span, and ultimately they are enhancing/building those pre-writing skills listed above so that writing will come at ease once they are ready!