Developing Writing Skills Through Nature Play

At this February’s For the Love of the Farm event, we were working on writing skills-and no one even knew it!  The morning was spent on intentional activities designed to show our animals the LOVE as well as work the large and small motor skills that are so important in writing. Farm and nature education meet early childhood teaching!

The process of writing is a very complicated process that involves simultaneous tasks from our bodies.  The body needs to be able to hold itself upright as well as being able to move the shoulder and arm. To work our core muscles and large arm muscles, we were swinging on rope swings, climbing on hay bales, and petting animals.  

By participating in goofy preschool songs to cross the midline point in our body we were activating our brain and building pathways to begin tracking from left to right and move that pencil across that page. We were using our hand and eye coordination by finding and picking eggs out of nesting boxes and harvesting the kale that still grows in our hoop house-even in February.  60 degrees inside! When we followed directions to make heart bird feeders, we were using bilateral integration and object manipulation-tearing, pouring, scooping, measuring, and stirring, then molding the feeders into shape. With our visual perception and listening skills we read a book together as well as information about all of the animals, the names for different genders and fun facts!  All of this culminated with discreet practice-we made paper valentines for all of the animals on the farm using crayons, stickers and paper. Even more gross motor and fine motor experience were needed to deliver those envelopes back to the mailboxes on each animal’s stall.

What a great day spent on the farm on this cold and breezy February morning.  Not only did we have a lovely time enjoying each other’s company and interacting with the animals, but we helped those families help their little one’s skills grow.  It is truly a gift to be able to spend this time together. We ALL love Learning Tree Farm!

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