A writing center is the perfect area of a classroom to inspire and nurture your preschoolers’ developing motor and literary skills. By setting up a dedicated corner with various writing materials, mediums, and tools, students will begin to discover self-expression while dabbling in doodling, drawing, and writing. By exposing children to writing in an entertaining manner, they will likely have an optimistic outlook on writing as their skills continue to evolve. Who knows…maybe you’ll be laying the foundational groundwork for the next Roald Dahl or J.K. Rowling!
How to Set Up Your Classroom’s Writing Center
Start by selecting a quiet area of the classroom. While that may be hard to pinpoint (because naturally, you are dealing with preschoolers…), the more isolated, the better. If you have wall space, display alphabet and number posters, as this visual reference will help guide students as they work. Be sure to include a table, some chairs, storage units or a bookshelf, and plenty of inspiration for creativity!
Go the extra mile by incorporating a bulletin board which will help you highlight your students’ masterpieces in a creative manner. Students will be proud to have their work on display, and in turn, will be excited for the next chance to use the writing center.
What Materials Should You Include?
The more writing materials you can incorporate, the more curious your students will be to experiment. We recommend rotating supplies every couple of weeks to get students excited about the activities, which will, in turn, motivate them to dabble with a wider variety of tools.
Below you can find a list of essential writing and drawing supplies to include in the writing center.
- Construction paper
- Blank paper
- Handwriting paper
- Index cards
- Mini chalkboards
- Dry erase boards
- Colored pencils
- #2 pencils
- Low fragrance dry erase markers
- Child-friendly stapler
- Hole puncher
Writing Center Activities
Inspiring children to write isn’t always the easiest task. However, here are some of our favorite preschool writing center ideas that will get your students eager to jump on the writing wagon!
Provide preassembled blank “books,” in which students can write and illustrate their own story. Tie this activity into class story time, and task students with writing their own sequels.
Have students cut out images from kid-friendly magazines to include on an imaginary shopping list. Students should glue the images to a sheet of paper and write out the name of the corresponding item. Children are especially excited about this activity around the holiday season.
Set up makeshift “mailboxes” and write letters back and forth with your students. This pretend mail office can be made using a spare bookshelf and labeling and assigning a mail slot to each student. The children will be motivated to write to you, and in turn, they will be enthusiastic to receive “mail.”
Encourage students to write on the move! Instruct students to walk around the classroom to write and draw key words and items they see. It may be helpful to provide a list of target words for this activity as thought starters if you would like to provide your class with some additional guidance.