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  • Preschool Director

Best Practices @ Main Street: Lacing

Here at Main Street Preschool, we feel it is part of our mission to partner with parents in the education of their children. To that end, this is part of a series called “Best Practices @ Main Street” designed to highlight why we incorporate certain skills, activities and resources into our day at school.

If you place eggs, flour, sugar and other ingredients on a counter and step back to take an objective look, it could be hard to believe they will make a cake. In their constituent parts, they don’t look anything like a cake. But mixed together, in the correct combination, magic happens.

Many of the simple activities we practice daily here at Main Street are the same way. One of the most deceptively beneficial centers our classrooms employ are those that incorporate lacing. The simple task of moving a string in and out of holes punched into cardboard is one of the best tools we have to teach pre-writing, hand eye coordination, and so much more.

It looks something like this…

A child will strengthen their pincer grasp, further developing their fine motor skills as they take a shoe string between two fingers. As they alternate between one side of the card and the other, children practice the bilateral coordination of using both hands simultaneously. This will help them later with scissor skills, zipping a coat and using simple tools. Additionally, both hand eye coordination and visual motor planning are enhanced as children execute a task they plan with their eyes but complete with their hands. All of these are classified as pre-writing skills.

Pre-writing skills are essential for the child to be able to develop the ability to hold and move a pencil fluently and effectively and therefore produce legible writing. When these skills are underdeveloped it can lead to frustration and resistance due to the child not being able to produce legible writing or to ‘keep up’ in class due to fatigue. This can then result in poor self esteem and academic performance.

There are also pre-reading skills that are being developed during this simple activity. As children use their eyes to target the holes children are practicing visual scanning, a skill they will later use to track letters and words across a page. Lacing cards can also be customized to reinforce both literacy and math concepts like letter recognition, alphabetical order, upper and lowercase letters, skip counting, and number order.

Next time you see your child using our lacing cards, be very impressed at everything their brain is processing during this “simple” activity.

For more articles and downloads of lacing cards you can use at home, see the following resources:

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