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October 03, 2018

Magazine Pictures Books for Early Writing

Maria Montessori observed that children write before they read and this has been true for both of my children. Nora is at a stage where she is not physically writing yet, but she is super interested in writing! We are getting all sorts of little scraps of paper that “say....” with a big long explanation. Usually they are just squiggles, lines, and loops with an occasional cursive letter thrown in there. 

Magazine picture books to support fine motor skills and an early interest in writing - and easy DIY for your Montessori shelves.

This is where the movable alphabet will start to come in handy. She hasn’t seen that at school yet, so I’m not making it available at home at this time. The moveable alphabet will allow her to use the letter sounds (which she is still working on) to form words phonetically without needing the fine motor skills to write with pen and paper. 

Since she is in this sort of in-between time, I did want to provide some way to support her interest in writing here at home. Something where she is still working on fine motor skills to develop the hand, but also something that models the importance of purposeful writing. So I decided to put this little tray together for her to make illustrated books. 

Simple Montessori Inspired DIY: Illustrated Books

Magazine picture books to support fine motor skills and an early interest in writing - and easy DIY for your Montessori shelves.

Basically, we gathered a few of those free local magazines that you find in restaurants and schools and cut them up. These magazines we're a perfect mix of people, places and things to form stories. I made sure to grab some that featured more food/recreational items and a couple that we're more people focused. I think you could also use catalogs or newspaper for the images too. Then, I set Nora free to create the pages of her book. She flips through the options and chooses those she wants for her story. She glues to a sheet of paper. 

Preschool Story Writing in a Montessori Home

Once she has assembled all the parts of her book. We sit down to write the story. This is my favorite part! She tells the story and I write it down. Her creativity and strong telling skills get some practice but yet she gets a nice example of purposeful writing. It’s a total win-win! To finish off the book, she punches and threads the papers together. 

As Nora gets older (and Henry has made a few too!) she will be able to write the story and make the book on her own. This will be great and purposeful handwriting practice. I can't wait to see all the stories she thinks up! 

Magazine picture books to support fine motor skills and an early interest in writing - and easy DIY for your Montessori shelves.

Maria Montessori's observation that children write before they read was certainly true for both my children. By creating a little story writing tray for Nora, I was able to provide a way to support her interest and provide a model for purposeful writing. This activity served as both a creative exercise with strong telling skills and eventually great handwriting practice. 

The movable alphabet will be introduced when Nora is ready, allowing her to use her knowledge of letter sounds to form words phonetically. As both of my children explore their enthusiasm for writing, I look forward to the stories they will think up in the future! If you're looking for a way to support your child in their journey to writing, try creating a story writing tray like I did. It's a win-win activity that will leave both you and your child feeling inspired and encouraged!

What have you done at home to support an early interest in writing?

Did you know children can write before they read? Discover the fascinating insights of Maria Montessori, and see how it's proven true with my own kids. I'll share how we encourage and sustain this interest in writing at home using Montessori principles.

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