Skip to main content

Montessori Inspired Preschool Mirror Writing

About six weeks ago, Henry's preschool teachers expressed some concern about his writing and fine motor skills. He goes to a non-Montessori preschool so their concern was not at all unexpected. While Montessori schools focus on reading and writing with a movable alphabet at first, traditional schools are more concerned with pencil grip and writing skills. 

I think it's kind of silly, but since we aren't sending him to a Montessori school {sadly} I felt like it was important to honor their request to work with him on writing at home. If I was going to do that, I wanted to do it in the most Montessori way I could, so I created a Montessori inspired preschool mirror writing work. 

A Montessori inspired way to encourage writing and fine motor skills with preschoolers. This is a fun way to engage reluctant writers to practice their skills.

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

I knew I had to create something to entice Henry to participate. I wasn't going to force him or do silly worksheets. Part of the issue is Henry shows almost no interest in writing on his own. Right now, he fills his time with other interests. 

So I created mirror writing! And it's worked! Here the tray includes a mirror (ours is from a craft store), glass beads, sandpaper letters, and dry erase marker. 

I placed this "invitation" on his table for him to ask about. Then, I presented it. 

A Montessori inspired way to encourage writing and fine motor skills with preschoolers. This is a fun way to engage reluctant writers to practice their skills.

First, I traced the sandpaper letter (something Henry is familiar with) and said the letter sound. I asked Henry to trace the letter on his own. I had him repeat this portion of the work until he was slowly, carefully and correctly using the letter. 


Then, I wrote the letter on the mirror saying the sound of the letter. I then used the glass beads to make the letter in the same order that it was traced. I liked the glass beads for this because this motion simulates the same fine motor skills and pincher grip he needs to hold the writing utensil. Then, Henry placed the beads. 


Once Henry placed the beads, and removed them again. I had him erase the letter I wrote and write his own. If he had trouble, I encouraged him to retrace the sandpaper letter. He could then write the letter and place beads, or just write the letter over and over again. 


This has been a huge hit! After my initial presentation, I placed it on Henry's shelf to work with at his pace. We've been focusing on the letters in his name and he has made great strides. He's started to show a lot more interest in writing and is holding his pencil correctly more often.

This easy writing extension is perfect for anyone child showing interest in writing. The mirror is fun and inviting. And clean up is easy!

Do you have creative ways to encourage preschoolers to write?

Comments

Unknown said…
What a neat idea!!! I will try it with my girl!

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2019

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure!

2019 UPDATE: This post has been updated to include a variety of brands and new product finds! Just a reminder that no one child will be interested in all of this or needs all of this. These toys are just here to spark ideas and give you a feeling for some Montessori-friendly options available! 


So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. 


First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created to…

Working from Home with Kids - A Montessori Schedule

One part of my life that I haven't talked a ton about here on The Kavanaugh Report is how I'm a work-from-home parent. Eight years ago I started to work at home while parenting full time. For the first several years, I worked as a legal writer while maintaining this space on the side. When Gus was born, I moved into working on sharing our Montessori life full time. It has blossomed into a full time career sharing content here, teaching courses, and now the podcast! Through it all, my kids have been home with me. 
This all seems more relevant to so many of us now that Covid-19 has closed schools and forced parents to stay at home and work while caring for children. I'm not going to lie - it's tough. It's hard to balance work and kids, especially when children are used to a completely different routine. But, it's not impossible! And, it can even be enjoyable. 

As I talk about in my podcast Shelf Help, we block our days into 3 hours groups. It helps me remain fle…

Which Open-Ended Toys are "Worth it?"

As a Montessori parent, I try to provide a mix of materials in our home to engage my kids! That work that will spark joy, concentration, and repetition. It's not always an easy task, as Maria Montessori said, "Life is mysterious...only the choice of life can choose the work that the child truly needs. Therefore, the teacher respects this mysterious process and knows to wait with faith." So, there does sometimes feel like there is a bit of trial and error when it comes to choosing materials that your children need. 

For us, the right balance is easier to find when I spend time deeply observing my children. Watching their interests, sitting on my hands if I have to, letting them struggle a little with things, and letting them get bored. And what I have personally found is that here at home, a combination of open ended materials and more structured work have been the right balance. Open ended toys wouldn't necessarily be found in a Montessori classroom, but they are perf…