Writing requires both critical thinking skills and gross motor skills.
Children see their parents writing and want to copy their actions. Writing skills and awareness begin at a very young age. Some children as young as 1 year old are ready to pick up a marker and start scribbling, and some kids are still scribbling at 10 years old. Help your child in his beginning stages of writing in order to help him become proficient at writing when he is older.
1Provide clay with beans or beads hidden inside. Let your child fish out the objects. This builds up his hand strength, which is needed for writing well. If your child did not crawl for long, he may need to do some belly time to help increase his strength. Do some crawling activities every day for a few minutes. Who knew writing well would be such a workout? Other ideas to increase hand and finger strength are putting beads on a string, using lacing boards and moving beans or coins from one tray to another. Tell the child to use only his left hand. Then have him use only his right hand. Putting together puzzles while laying on his belly is another way to increase the proper muscles to be a good writer.
2Provide a pencil or marker and paper at a desk that is comfortable for your child. His feet should be planted on the ground when writing. His elbow and pinky finger should rest on the desk when writing. Ankles, hips and knees should be at a right angle when seated, according to Center of Development Pediatric Therapies.
3Show the child how to grasp the pencil or marker correctly. The most efficient grasp is holding the pencil between the pads of the thumb and second finger with the pencil resting on the third finger. Stop your child and correct the grip if he is not holding the pencil correctly. Lay the paper at a 45-degree angle. Place a piece of tape on the desk for the child to align the paper with.
4Provide many types of markers and paper for the child to experiment with. Make a writing center as part of the play area. Pens, markers, envelopes, stamps and stickers are items to place here. Include writing in make believe play areas. If your child has a restaurant play area, include paper for him to write up the orders. A make believe doctor's kit should include a prescription pad for the child to write out scribble prescriptions.
Things You'll Need
- Beans or beads
- Pencil or marker
- Child's desk and chair