Rock Water Painting: Practicing Writing Numbers 1 – 10
In this post we explore practicing writing numbers 1 – 10 outdoors. Once children have had plenty of experience mark making and have had some experience writing numbers, writing with water is a good way for them to begin to practice writing numbers. Before children have experience practicing number formations, it is beneficial to have them do this on a larger surface first (such as pavement). See my post on Water Writing- Tracing Chalk Numbers (coming soon). This is an opportunity for children trace numbers so they learn how they are correctly formed (coming soon).
Writing with water isn’t permanent, so it can be reassuring for children who are anxious about making mistakes. If they do make a mistake, it dries quickly and they can practice again and again. Children enjoy this because they like to see rocks change colour with the water and it also allows them to write outside. I’ve found that many children who may be reluctant to pick up a pen or pencil enjoy writing with paintbrushes and water. This is especially true if you put a bit of glitter in the water. Glitter adds an even more exciting element to this activity. I have had boys in my classes with no interest in anything to do with writing, come running to sit and write with glittery water and paintbrushes!
For children to practice writing numbers, I find it best that they have an example to either trace or look at to remind them what the number should look like. Once they gain more confidence they can do it without an example.
What you need to practice writing numbers 1 – 10
- Large rocks
- Melissa & Doug 37 Wooden Number Magnets in a Box“>Numbers
- Pot of water
- Glitter (optional)
Questions to ask
- Which number are you writing? Can you show me the value on your fingers?
- Where do you start your paintbrush when making that number?
- Can you show me in the air how you would form that number?
What they get from practicing writing numbers 1 -10 outdoors
This activity is ideal for children who prefer being outside and who don’t usually like to write with pens and pencils as it can make it fun and exciting. Children can also practice their pencil grip. Make sure you use a thinner paintbrush so that they can get their fingers around it. Using rocks helps limit the size of the numbers children can make, so it is good for those who need help beginning to make slightly smaller numbers.
Take it further
See my post on writing letters on rocks (coming soon). Children can practice writing letters on rocks with water using examples to help them.
See my posts on how children can practice recognizing and writing letters or numbers or high frequency words by painting over chalk letters or numbers with water.