Preparing your child to write happens much sooner than you may think and it doesn’t really start with a paper and pencil or any other writing utensil. There are many activities you can do with your toddler or preschooler that will help them when it comes time for pre-writing and, eventually, writing.
What is pre-writing?
According to this article at Growing Hands-On Kids, pre-writing refers to the mastery of lines and strokes needed before learning to write the alphabet. Basically. learning to draw vertical and horizontal lines and shapes are an important step to actually writing letters.
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Non-writing skills that will help prepare your toddler or preschooler to write
There are two important skills that will help prepare your child to write:
Bilateral coordination helps with pre-writing because it teaches your toddler how to do two things at once which is a necessary skill when writing.
Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills refer to the use of the tiny muscles in the hands. Strengthening these muscles is vital for learning how to write.
Upper Body Strength
Good upper body or core strength is essential to your child’s readiness to write because shoulder stability allows controlled hand movement. (source)
Bilateral Coordination Activities
Playing drums or bongos
Tearing strips of tissue paper
Play dough and cookie cutters or rolling pin
Catching & Throwing a Ball
Mr. Potato Head
Hand Clapping Games
Fine Motor Skill Activities
Play with puzzles that have knobs.
Use tongs or tweezers to pick up small items like beads, pom poms or beans.
Cut up straws and place them in the holes of an empty Parmesan cheese container.
Give your child cheerios or another circle cereal and have him place them on a piece of spaghetti or a pipe cleaner. Place the Pipe Cleaner or spaghetti in a container of play dough for support!
Give your child a container with a plastic lid and cut a slit into the lid. Let your child put fake or real coins through the slit.
Upper Body Strength Activities
Yoga for Kids
Crawling on all fours (i.e. act like a dog, cat, etc.)
Crawling through tunnels
Monkey bars (with adult assistance)
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Hi! I'm Inez, the owner and content creator of For the Love of Mom, a website dedicated to helping moms thrive in motherhood by offering helpful advice, tips and resources.