|Posted by Kids Express Team on July 2, 2014 at 2:10 PM|
In the Early Childhood field, the term “Pre-Writing” is one that is largely discussed. Everyone knows that writing is a very important aspect of communication that every child must master to be successful in life. Writing is a skill that most people use every day, whether it be writing a birthday card to a friend, or filling out a form for school. Even in a world full of technology, the written word is still everywhere. But how do you teach a young child to write, you ask? We teach them the skills they need before it’s time to learn to write!
Developing pre-writing skills is necessary to begin writing. It is an important step because it teaches children the correct way to hold a pencil, how to use a good firm grip, and emphasizes the use of fine motor skills (using our fingers and hands to complete tasks). Pre-writing also helps children develop hand eye coordination, learn that words go left to write, and that lines of writing go to the top of the page.
Tracing is a very effective way for preschoolers to learn how it feels to write. But children should not just be expected to learn how to trace instinctively. If your child is under the age of two, they should start out by learning the correct way to hold a pencil. Then, once the students’ muscle control increases, they can begin tracing dotted lines (curvy, straight, or jagged lines). Once the student has mastered that skill, they can move on to tracing more advanced shapes. Finally, after the child has successfully mastered these skills, they can begin working on letters and numbers! We also do a number of play activities that help strengthen little hands, like squishing play-dough! It is important to remember that all children develop at their own pace, so do not fret if your child does not develop exactly according to these general guidelines.
Here are some activities our classrooms use to help develop fine motor skills and practice pre-writing:
• Using play-doh (squeezing, rolling, forming letters)
• Playing any game that makes them learn to stay on a path or within two lines.
• Cutting and tearing paper
• Lacing cards
• Stringing beads on string, beads, or yarn
• Using finger paint to practice writing letters
• Using a child’s fingers to make letters in shaving cream
• Tracing their names in shaving cream
• Tracing letters and numbers on work sheets
• Using Stencils to trace shapes, letters, numbers, figures
Hopefully, after reading this information, you have gained a greater knowledge of how to help develop your child’s fine motor and other pre-writing skills necessary for children to be successful in Kindergarten, and ultimately become better writers!
Author: Megan DiNovo, Marketing and Administrative Assistant