Like reading, writing is a process that brings together a bundle of skills that all need to develop in order for your child to write with ease. Below are some of these skills and easy fun activities that help develop them. Worksheets aren’t the only way and certainly not the first step in teaching your child to write. Some children love worksheets and I think no matter what we are teaching our children if we build on what they love half the battle is won, so do not take them away if your kids enjoy them, just add some of these activities below too.
Write on Vertical Surfaces
Yes, writing on the wall is a good thing, hopefully, that marker is washable! The reason for this is because when kids write on vertical surfaces like walls, chalkboards, and easels their wrists naturally bend back in the proper form for writing.You can:
*Write On The Wall with a Mini Mural
Fine Motor Skills
While writing my craft tutorials, I often tag things as a fine motor activity because many crafts offer great fine motor practice. Fine motor skills start in infancy while picking up finger food to eat but practice is so important as children learn to write. To encourage the proper grip you can try giving your child a small broken piece of crayon, it’s tiny size naturally encourages the proper grip. Also, you can use those tiny pieces! Thanks Teri for the suggestion.Practice doesn’t have to be work. You can:
Develop Hand, Arm, and Wrist Strength
In order to work the way they want them to your child’s body needs to develop and just like we work out our bodies to work the way we want them to, for endurance and strength. To build strength you can:
*Climb and Play On Playground equipment ( especially monkey bars, climbing walls)
*Use Spray Bottles To Paint
*Cutting – Yes I mean Scissors. Don’t worry they don’t need to be sharp.
*Ripping is great too.
*Use tongs instead of your hands to pick things up in sensory tubs.
I don’t think this section is given the status it deserves, hand eye coordination is so important and usually the part of the equation that frustrates my beginning writer the most. To work on these skills you can:
*Throw to a target – like we did with our Angry Birds Game.
*Hammer Golf Tees in like a pro!
*Sort things with tools, pour the liquid into containers at a Water Table or while cooking with an adult in the kitchen.
More Pre-Writing Letter Awareness
This is the playing with letters, learning their shapes and understanding their general purpose. You can:
*Make letters out of playdough and draw them in sugar.
*Make Letter Crafts to introduce and play with letters.
*Play Letter Games like memory, fishing games and letter hunts.
*Read. Yes, reading with your kids will help them with writing. So grab a book!
There are many strategies to help kids get a grasp on writing, these are just a few. Try not to push your young child, usually when they push back it’s because they aren’t ready for what you are pushing, so try a new approach. Writing is a process and kids develop at different rates. Have fun with it and do not stress about what the kid next door is doing or what your mom says you were doing at your child’s age.