Lacing is a great way to practice hand-eye coordination, which will help later with writing. Turn it into a fun art project, by stringing up some ABCs!
What You Do:
- Make the letters. Take out the first foam sheets and ask your child to use the pencil to write the letter “A” on it. Continue, using one piece of craft foam for each letter of the alphabet. As she finishes each letter, look over her work and if you see any letters written incorrectly, coach her on how to write them, using the lined paper. Once she’s gotten the hang of it, you can flip over the foam and write the letter correctly on the other side. When all the letters are written she should carefully cut them out using her safety scissors.
- Connect the dots. Have your child draw dots along the strokes of each letter, as if she were making a “connect the dots” alphabet. Then, punch a hole in each dot, using the hole puncher. Be careful not to punch too close to the edges of the letters.
- Ready to lace! Help your child string each letter using the shoelaces or yarn—and don't forget to do it in the direction she'd write. For example, for the letter A, start at the top middle, where the letter comes to a point, and lace down the left side. Then go up the back of the foam and begin at the top again so you can lace down the right side. Then string through the middle, moving left to right.
As she's working, remember to talk to your expert lacer about the sounds each letter makes. Brainstorm words that begin with the letter she's working one, such as A= apple, or B=bear. And don't forget to have some fun!
Mary Anne Edwards is a freelance writer with teaching experience in preschool, first, and fourth grades. She has also taught second grade Title One reading groups.