Wondering how you can spark your preschooler's interest in writing? Here are some tips you can use to develop his writing skills and make writing fun for him, and give him an edge over his peers.
Writing is an important part of our daily lives. From filling out forms and writing down notes to completing reports and sending out memos, writing is a skill many of us use multiple times a day. But, for preschoolers, learning to write is a very important milestone that plays a significant role in their academic and cognitive development. An article titled 'Preschool Through Grade 3 Understanding Writing Development: Catie's Continuum' published in the National Association For The Education Of Young Children (2016) states that 'skills that children learn as young writers can impact their literacy development later in life'.
In other words, early writing skills can be a predictor of academic performance and the overall literacy of a child. Therefore, teaching kids to write at a very young age becomes very crucial for their future success in life.
If you have a preschooler at home who is engrossed in scribbling all over the place, it's time to channel his energy into developing his writing skills in a methodical manner. Between 3 and 5 years of age, he will be capable of writing distinct letters that are separate from each other and draw pictures and label them. You can use the tips given below to help your preschooler develop good handwriting skills.
Trace letters and words: You will find plenty of free kindergarten letter tracing worksheets on the web. Take a print-out of these alphabet worksheets and let your child practise tracing the large bold letters on them. It's better to use crayons in the beginning as she will find it easier to hold them. With practice, she will learn to write capital letters and small letters perfectly using a pencil.
Write using different materials: Give your child a variety of options to practise her handwriting skills. She can try practising to write on a slate with a piece of chalk or use fingers or a twig to draw large letters in a sand tray. These activities are good for beginners to develop their pre-writing skills.
Learning apps: There are some awesome handwriting apps that can help with improving writing skills for preschoolers. If you have a tablet or an iPad at home, encourage your child to engage in various writing activities on it. He can practise tracing the letters of the alphabet (both upper and lower case) using a stylus or just the finger. There are also interactive games that help your child to master the 26 letters of the English alphabet and combine them to form words. With the tracking feature on, you can observe the progress your child makes.
Practise handwriting on walls: Kids enjoy writing on walls as it provides them a larger and wider area to explore their drawing and handwriting skills. It provides ample space for trying out larger strokes and greater hand movement when compared to writing on a notebook. Just buy some removable wallpaper for kids to protect your wall. Stick it on a designated area on the wall in your child's bedroom and encourage her to practise her writing skills.
Want your child to develop good handwriting skills? It depends entirely on how much practice goes into it. However, convincing your young child to practise writing is easier said than done. Many children want to play rather than sit down and write. Also, forcing them to write is likely to make them view the activity as repulsive.
In order to teach a young child to write, or any other skill for the matter, it is important to make the activity seem fun and interesting. Here are some tips on how to make kids interested in writing.
There are a whole range of pre-writing activities for preschoolers that help to develop their fine motor and writing skills. These also help in improving shoulder and hand strength, and the dexterity of the fingers. Some of these pre-writing activities are:
Also read: Pre-Writing Activities For Toddlers
Each child takes his own time to learn a particular skill. So don't be disheartened if your little one isn't learning as fast as his peers. Never criticise your child or compare his writing abilities to that of his friend's. The mystery and magic of the written word can be easily destroyed if we make writing a frustrating and demanding exercise. So, remember, to support him in his efforts constantly.
About the author:
Written by Ashwin Lobo on 10 September 2018; updated on 24 November 2020
Looking for fun ways to keep your preschooler engaged at home during the pandemic? Check out Little Learners at Home, a home learning programme specifically designed for 3 to 5 year olds by our team of experts.
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