a special feature from Kay & Leslie, founders Grandparentslink.com

As preschoolers begin to master their fine motor skills, why not encourage them to write? This can be a truly fun activity, especially in the summertime when the “livin’ is easy”. Grab a pitcher of fresh lemonade, some yummy nutritious treats, and delight in the love of learning with your grandchildren. Take a look at our suggestions, and see how many of these ideas appeal to you:

• When you sit down to write anything, whether it is a note, a shopping list, a check, ask your grandchild to assist you. Give him paper and pencils (plus colored pencils, erasable markers, crayons), so he can write too. You can both “work”. Your grandchild will love being your office partner.

• Take play dough or modeling clay and form letters. And then, turn the letters into words…

• Get flour, or sugar, or sugar sprinkles, and make letters and words. You can even make cookie dough into letters, and bake the ‘dough letters’. Then, create words with the baked cookie alphabet letters.

• Paint letters and words with watercolor or tempera paint.

• If you are at the beach or playing in the sandbox, write in the sand! Talk about simple to erase…

• Get a dry-erase board, and practice writing with dry-erase pens. Or, write on a blackboard. This is so easy because you can constantly erase and re-write. Practice letters, words, draw pictures next to the words; write sentences.

• Make a book together. Staple blank pages together. Make up a story, and have your grandchild draw a picture on each page. Then write a sentence or two about each picture. Or, go to the park or a museum, and take photographs of your adventure together. Develop the photos and glue one or two to each page. Write a few words, or a sentence or two under each picture. What fun to write a story about your ‘outing’. And then, it is a keepsake.

• Pull out a magazine with photos that your grandchild might like. Cut out a picture, glue it to a piece of construction paper and write a caption under each picture. You can do a series of these, and then put a booklet together.

• Keep a notebook with you so whenever you are with your grandchild, you can write together, and create ideas and stories while chatting with each other.

• If your grandchild lives in a different city, start a booklet with photos, and send it back and forth to each other, creating a long distance story!