While I’m not a huge paper and pencil worksheet kind of mom / teacher, we do have a fair share of activities that would most traditionally be done in that fashion. So how do we keep from spending our days with a pencil in hand? I’m so glad you asked. Below are our favorite multi-sensory ways to write math answers, practice spelling and share responses to quesions.

  1. Write it in flour, salt, sand, shaving cream or dirt – Spread a thin later of your choice of material in a cookie sheet and have at it. This is the original dry erase board.
  2. Dry Erase Boards – It’s still writing but for some reason it is so much more fun.
  3. Chalk Markers – Chalk markers are great for writing directly on glass windows and doors. This option also leads to conversations with dad or visitors because they are trying to figure out what exactly is going on all over your windows.
  4. Run to the Answers – Write the answers in a jumbled order on the driveway [or on notecards spread around the room if it is cold or rainy] and have your child run to the appropriate answer. To do spelling this way, write out the entire alphabet and have your child run from letter to letter in order to spell the word.
  5. Play-Doh or Wikki Sticks – Create the letters or numbers out of one of these sensory materials. If the answer doesn’t involve letters or numbers, allow your child to create a visual representation of the answer.
  6. Scrabble Tiles / Magnetic Letters – Use these manipulative items to “write” out the answer.

While it may seem that these activities are designed for younger students because many are sensory in nature, I have found that even your late elementary and middle school children enjoy this kind of learning thrown in here and there. The little ones shouldn’t be the only ones to have fun. Keep it smart. Keep it simple.