Water Painting on a Chalkboard – a Pre-Writing Activity

Here’s a fun pre-writing exercise that I set up for R (3). It was quick and simple to put together and R absolutely loved it. I was inspired by this post at Teach Preschool. It looked like fun and I decided to add some number and letter recognition to the activity since R is all about letters and numbers at the moment!


  • A chalkboard – this is actually optional. If you don’t have an easel or chalkbard, you could simply draw with the chalk on a path or your drive-way.
  • Chalk
  • A paintbrush
  • A container of water

I began by using the chalk to write some letters and numbers on the board. I showed R how to dip the paintbrush into the water and then paint over the letters and numbers with the water. Here he is painting over the “R” that I wrote.

R was laughing and shouting excitedly the whole time. He was really excited about “writing” and was very keen to learn the corrct order of the strokes and curves. I always want our learning experiences to be fun and motivated entirely by R so I let him decide which letters we would practise. After he tried R, he then chose M and B.


It wasn’t long before R wanted to try writing with the chalk himself. He began with an upper case “T”.

Next he wanted to write the word “ZOO” which was the first word he learnt to read after learning his own name. Here is his first attempt at the letter Z.

I demonstrated how to write the letter Z and then he completed the word with the two O’s.

After completing the word ZOO he’d had enough and decided to paint the board all over!

How long did we spend on this activity? 

  • We spent about 15 minutes engaged with this activity.

How old was R when we did this?

  • R is 3 yrs 10 months

What was the benefit / learning outcome of this activity?

  • This was a lesson in literacy and numeracy – enhancing letter and number recognition
  • Fine motor skills practise and pre-writing skills – using the paint brush to trace the chalk letters and numbers
  • Writing practise – using the chalk to write letters and words
  • This built R’s confidence in writing
  • This was a great learning experience where R was completely engaged because it followed his current interest in letters and numbers
  • This was FUN!

 If this is your first time visiting One Perfect Day – welcome! If you like what you have found, why not join us on our Facebook page? We are always sharing new ideas to play, learn, create and explore.

You can also follow us on Pinterest, or subscribe to One Perfect Day via RSS

15 thoughts on “Water Painting on a Chalkboard – a Pre-Writing Activity

    • Hi Deborah! Thanks for providing me with the inspiration for this! Really, R had such fun with it and we’ll definitely be doing more of this. I hope your students enjoy it!🙂

  1. I’ve done this in my preschool classroom at one of the chalkboard easels. The only thing to watch out for is that after a while, with too much water usage, the chalkboard can start to deteriorate. Great for something that is used lightly, however!

  2. Pingback: Weekend Reads 5.20.12 | Not Just Cute

  3. Love this and we just did it this week and am doing a post on ours we did with a link back to you. Thanks for sharing-frogsandsnailsandpuppydogtails

    • Hi Jaime! Thanks for your lovely comment and thanks for linking back to me in your post. I’ll pop over there now and check it out. I can’t wait to see how much fun you had!🙂

  4. Pingback: Learning you ABC for Preschoolers | Life At The Zoo

  5. Pingback: 15 ABC Activities for Preschoolers | Life At The Zoo

  6. Pingback: Paint with water on chalkboard!

  7. Pingback: Paint with water on chalkboard! - FSPDT

Your comments make my day. They really do! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s