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Writing Numbers Excavation

I'm so over using worksheets for writing numbers. I've never seen a child have an "aha moment" after doing a worksheet.

As a mom and a kindergarten teacher, I love to cater to active learners who learn best with hands-on learning, aka learning by doing. With this number writing activity kids are practicing writing numbers while also searching, imagining, discovering, and playing.

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Setting up for Writing Numbers Excavation:

Supplies you'll need:

  • paint brush
  • paper
  • pen or any writing utensil
  • baking tray
  • sensory filler such as corn kernels, beans, pom poms, packing peanuts, etc.

The play set-up:

  1. On one piece of paper, write the numbers you'd like your child to practice writing randomly and spread out on the page.
  2. Place that piece of paper on the baking tray then cover with the sensory filler.
  3. Have a blank piece of paper with your child's preferred writing utensil nearby, as well as a paint brush.
Child writing numbers on right side. Left side is a baking tray with beans on it, hiding numbers underneath

Writing Numbers Excavation Set Up

Time for writing numbers! Invite your child to play:

To start, ask your child what they know about excavation. When have they seen it, and what kinds of jobs do it. We came up with paleontologists and archaeologists.

Child digging for numbers through beans

Writing Numbers Activity

Excavating means to remove dirt carefully to find what's buried underneath. Both paleontologists and archaeologists use special tools to carefully remove the dirt in order not to harm the buried items: dinosaur bones or human artifacts!

Invite your child to play archaeologist using their paintbrush to gently brush away the sensory beads, beans, kernels, etc. to uncover the mysterious numbers beneath.

Adding the element of imaginative play always brings up the engagement level of an activity. Bonus: being an archaeologist who gently brushes the sensory items back and forth is my way of getting my kids to keep the sensory items on the actual tray and avoid the mess.

A good archaeologist always keeps track of their findings by writing them down. As your child uncovers each number, their job is to write the number on their blank paper.

Just like that writing numbers becomes a game, a mystery, and imaginative play.

You can toss that number writing worksheet now!

Writing doesn't have to be hard!

If writing is not your child's preferred task, it can be a battle to get them to write, even if they love reading and know their letters. This could be a sign that writing is difficult for them due to poor fine motor skills.

If your child's handwriting with a pencil is shaky, weak, or very very light, it means they need to work on their fine motor skills!

Fine motor muscles are the small muscles in the hands and wrists that little ones need to develop before being able to pick up a pencil. Pencils aren't even the best writing utensil to start with!

To develop proper pencil form, give your child small broken crayon pieces. They'll need to push down (just like with pencils) to be able to write and since the pieces are broken, it'll force their small hands to hold the crayon with a better grasp.

For more ways to build your child's fine motor skills which will make writing numbers (and writing altogether) check out my 9 favorite activities for fine motor development!

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My mission is to bring fun hands-on learning to your home through simple activities and games that capture your child’s interest.
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