Excite and Encourage your child to explore their writing skills.
Handwriting is a skill that is developed over time. Your child will need to improve their motor skills, memory, language and concentration before mastering their handwriting. However, we are here to help advance these skills that will contribute to your child’s ability to hold a pencil and take an interest in their handwriting.
Pre-Writing skills are fundamental in developing your child’s ability to write, and one of the best ways to encourage these skills is of Course through play!
When your child uses their hands to explore the world of the play, it is actually helping them strengthen and control the muscles in their hands. Fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination are skills needed for more complex tasks like writing or typing on a keyboard.
To enable the development of your child’s writing skills, we have listed several fun activities that you can partake in and encourage their participation:
- Manipulation activities: Things like playdough and slime are great activities to do with little ones. Simply practice rolling playdough into “sausages” or small balls or patting flat into pancakes while adding sticks, pop sticks or macaroni to be pushed into the dough.
- Sensory play: We have all heard the saying “simple things” well, this activity is the definition of that. Painting or getting stuck into messy play is excellent for developing tactile awareness.
- Mark Making: Provide a variety of drawing and writing tools such as pencils, crayons, chalk, paint brushes etc. Playfully practice drawing different lines and shapes together. Model where to start, e.g. vertical lines begin at the top, go down, and stop; horizontal lines – start at the left and go to the right; circles – start at the top and go around until it meets back at the top. Practice playing with these shapes to make it easier for your child to transition into writing the letters of the alphabet.
- Threading: This is a fantastic yet straightforward activity, then helps develop your child’s motor skills. Pasta onto pipe cleaners, beads onto shoelaces etc. They can then be manipulated into any shape: letters of the alphabet, numbers, necklaces or bracelets, amongst many other ideas!
- Cutting: Provide your child with child-safe scissors and lots of old magazines and start to explore games such as cutting pictures in half, cutting along lines or cutting something into smaller pieces. (Don’t forget to supervise your little ones with scissors as you might have a few things cut that you didn’t want to!)
- Glueing: Provide a variety of paintbrushes to help develop their hand muscles (bigger ones for smaller children and smaller ones for older children) and encourage them to paint the glue onto the page to glue shapes such as pasta, pictures, beads and feathers.
- Rice play: Rice is an excellent way for children to playfully develop their fine-motor skills that are required for writing. Encourage them to pick up individual grains, passing handfuls from hand to hand, or scooping and pouring. Also explore different types of rice, e.g. long-grain, Arborio etc.
- Puzzles: By completing visual puzzles and matching games its helps your child develop essential visual perceptual skills that are required for reading, handwriting and other important daily activities.
- Musical instruments: Encouraging them to grasp things to shake or bang promotes fine motor skills and coordination. (Just think twice before you buy them a drum set)
And there you have it, our top tips on encouraging writing skills. Remember, the more active you are in your child’s development, the more your child will want to play and learn.
If you have enjoyed this, why don’t you check out some other tips and tricks on encouraging speech development and Early Literacy.