Tracing Flight Trails

A fine motor, pre-writing activity offer in my therapy gym today: dot-to-dots to make the “flight paths” of different airplanes, rocketships, and helicopters. You can customize this whichever way matches the child’s level of drawing/tracing right now…to work on horizontal lines, vertical lines, diagonals, curves, loops, etc.

All of these things are skills that children *must* have in place before they are capable of writing letters. Letters are made up of horizontal lines, vertical lines, diagonals, curves, and loops. Children learn horizontal/vertical lines first, then diagonals later, when their bodies are ready for them. Letters require crossing the midline, a skill that comes first in “big body” motions (like drawing across an entire whiteboard) and eventually translates down into “small body” motions (like successfully making the crossbar on a lowercase letter t or a + sign).

Tracing* doesn’t have to look like drawing boring lines on a worksheet. 😉

*(an activity I only really support as an interesting offered opportunity, not an adult-mandated requirement)

[Image description: A whiteboard with five different planes, rockets, and helicopters drawn on it, each with a little dotted-line trail coming out of them so the kids can connect the dots.]

And here’s a very realistic look at what a fine motor drawing activity offer looks like by the end of the day…

[Image description: A whiteboard with lots of drawings all over it, including a few airplanes that have been circled or had squares drawn around them, a giant childish rocketship drawn over the top, and a few dot-to-dot pathways traced in multiple whiteboard markers.]

A few of the paths were traced “correctly” by some of the kids. A few of the kids wanted to draw their own things, like the giant rocketship drawn in dark green across the whole thing with airplane hangars for all the other planes to land in. And a few of the kids just scribbled or drew at their level. 😊

Child-led, play-based learning in all things!