Children need to develop fine motor skills in their fingers in order to control a pencil or crayon to draw or write. Teach your child a few words in American Sign Language using the book So Many Feelings. This is a way for children to communicate with their hands. Not only will this help children practice fine motor control, but it gives them another way to express themselves.
Reading and writing go together. Writing helps children learn that letters and words stand for sounds and that print has meaning. One simple way you can show this to children is to occasionally point to the words as you read to them. Take opportunities to write down what children say as they tell it to you. Then you can read it back to them. This activity helps children can learn the connection between the written and the spoken word. It is also very motivating for them to tell their own stories.
Remember, playing, talking, singing, reading, and writing are five simple practices to help your child on the path to reading. After reading aloud Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert, talk about the colors of the rainbow. Then ask your child to draw a rainbow. Learning how to hold a crayon correctly is one of the first steps in learning how to write. Afterwards, encourage your child to plant a make-believe garden full of the flowers found in the book.
Reading and writing go together. Right now, your child may only write scribbles, but that’s okay. When learning to write, children need fine motor skills to hold a pencil and eye-hand coordination. Practicing writing (even if it is only scribbles) strengthens these skills. After reading Stone Soup, encourage your child to “write” their own recipe for soup. Then pretend to make the soup using the recipe. This way children see that writing is important and has meaning.
By spending time talking about a name, we are calling attention to the connection between spoken word and print. In this story, Thunder Boy Jr. doesn’t like his name and wants a new one. It is the tradition in some communities that when you get older, you get a new name to show something you’ve done or what people hope you will do. Talk to your child about what he/she would like their new name to be. Write this name on a piece of paper and ask your child to draw you a picture.
When your child is little, a great way to practice writing skills is to encourage them to scribble and draw. In Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin, the monsters like to scribble with different colored crayons. This could be a fun activity for you to do at home.
–Tip by Mary Smith, Head of Youth Services