Your preschooler is just beginning to master the fine motor skills he needs to become proficient at writing letters and numbers. Now, his attempts may look more like graffiti. It’s ok. Over time, his handwriting will improve. Now, your job is to make writing fun and exciting.
Here are 10 ways to encourage your child to write. Because children learn in different ways, they are arranged by way of learning. However, any child can benefit from advice in all three categories.
For physics learners
Write together. Ask your kids to join you every time you sit down to write a letter or a shopping list, or pay a bill or fill out an order. Give him some writing paper, a blank check or deposit slip, or his own order to scribble while you go about your business. Your child will learn that writing is an important part of everyday life.
“Write” the word with sand. Help your child make letters and words using materials like sand, glitter or cake sprinkles. Cookie dough and pancake batter also work – you can eat the results!
Use modeling clay to form words. First, make large flashcards out of the alphabet or simple words. (Laminate the card if you can. Then roll out the clay string. Have your child trace the words or letters on the card with the clay string. Not only will he learn to recognize words, but playing with the clay will help build his finger muscles , to hone the fine motor skills he needs to write.
Keep a travel log. When you’re traveling together — on vacation, visiting grandma, going to the beach or the zoo — ask your child to bring a notebook where he can write down what he sees, even if it’s just doodles.
For auditory learners
dictation. Have your child dictate a story to you as you write it down. Need a good theme? Try his last birthday party or a recent trip to grandma’s house. Even if your child isn’t actually writing himself, he’s watching you write what he says. This is a great way to strengthen written and verbal connections. You can switch roles as your child learns to write on his own.
Describe the picture. View pictures from magazines, catalogs, or storybooks together. Ask your child to tell you what he thinks people are doing or thinking, and write what he said as a headline. Or ask him to recount a conversation he thinks two people might be going through.
“Publish” a book together. Find pictures your child has drawn in previous years. Stick them on construction paper and ask your child to explain each. Using heavy cardboard, make a cover for the page and let your child decorate it. Help him write a title page that lists himself as the author. Punch holes in the pages and glue them together with yarn or ribbon. Store it on the shelf along with your child’s other books as you would a real book.
For visual learners
Make a photography diary. Take snapshots of your kids with friends and relatives. Paste them into a journal or scrapbook you made together or bought. Ask your child to tell you who is in the photo and where it was taken, and write what he said as a caption. This will be a wonderful keepsake for him when he grows up.
write diary. Children love to talk about themselves. By keeping a journal, your child learns to “talk” about himself in writing. Even if your preschooler is still struggling with the alphabet, encourage him to write a word or two every day in a special notebook with crayons or markers. Make journaling a fun part of his routine (bedtime is usually a good time). If he’s having trouble getting started, you can:
Make specific recommendations. Encourage him to write about his visit with grandma or his play date, even if it’s just doodles or “pretend” writing.
Ask him to tell you what he wants to record in his diary as you write it down. Most likely, he will soon have the urge to write it himself.
Play with letter fridge magnets. Playing with letter magnets on the fridge can help your child practice writing and spelling. He can also trace letters (using colored pencils; crayons are too thick). For portability, you can attach the letter to the cookie tray.