December 7 is National Letter Writing Day! However, teaching early writing is always a great opportunity to share literacy skills and more with your learners! Writing letters in preschool is just one way to teach these skills and make learning writing letters more fun!
Playful Writing, by Rebecca Olien and Laura Woodside, is a wonderful resource for creative letter writing activities preschoolers can do either at home or school!
Here are a few of our favorite letter writing and playful writing activities:
Tooth Fairy Letters
Who is this tooth fairy character? The children can write letters to learn more about this good fairy.
- Selection of stationery papers
- Writing tools
Write/Draw: Dear Tooth Fairy
Discussions and pretend play generate lots of questions. Help Early Writers compose letters to the tooth fairy using a combination of words and pictures. The next time a child loses a tooth, he might place his special letter beneath his pillow with the tooth!
After writing their letter, Ready Writers may be impatient for a response. No need to wait when the children pretend to be tooth fairies! Encourage the children to respond to each other’s letters. They can write reply letters answering questions and sharing with they will do with the lost tooth.
Write/Draw: Pourquoi (Why) Tales
Invite Early Writers to share their outdoor observations, and help them turn observations into wonderings. For example, if a child writes, “The sky is blue,” her wondering might be, “Why is the sky blue?” Early writers can draw and write to answer their own nature wonderings.
Many cultures around the world have created pourquoi tales to explain things they see in nature. Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories are examples of pourquoi tales. Read a pourquoi story to the children, and point out how the tales usually begin a long, long time ago and then creatively explain why things are the way they are. Invite Ready Writers to write their own creative pourquoi tales to explain something they have observed in nature. To help plan the pourquoi tales, it helps to consider these questions:
- What is your statement that explains why? (For example: “A snake has no legs because it angered the mouse, who bit them off!”)
- Who will your characters be? (For example: a snake, a mouse, and an owl)
- Where will the story take place? (For example: “In the forest, long ago…”)
- What problem will create action in the story? (For example: the snake tried to eat the mouse’s baby.)
- What will happen in the beginning, middle, and end of the tale?
- Dream journal created in “Dream On!” Play Time activity
Write/Draw: Dream Journals
Early Writers can try to remember a recent dream or powerful dream. They can draw and write about their dreams, using invented spelling, symbols, and words. They can take their dream journals home and use them to record their dreams.
Ready Writers can use dream journals to record details about their dreams. Prompt their thinking with the following questions:
- What was the date that you had the dream?
- What could you title your dream?
- What people were in your dream?
- Were there any animals in your dream?
- Where did your dream take place?
- What did you see, hear, feel, taste, or smell in your dream?
- What happened in your dream?
- How did you feel when you woke up from the dream?
Find more great writing activities in Playful Writing!