Writing and reading development support one another. As children become aware of print, they begin to understand that the print is what you are reading—not the pictures. They start to see print everywhere in their world and to understand that it represents meaning and the spoken word. It is also important to have your child practice scribbling even before they know how to form letters.
Try this fun activity at home to help strengthen the muscles in your child’s hands and get them ready for writing. After you read a birthday book such as I Got a Chicken for My Birthday, give your child a piece of wrapping paper for your child to wrinkle, tear, bend, and fold. These motions will help strengthen the muscles in your child’s hands and get them ready for writing.
Writing starts as scribbles by children. This then develops into letters, words, and sentences. This teaches children that spoken words are shown as written words and that there are other forms of communication.
Give your child plenty of opportunities to draw and write. Talk to your child about what he or she draws. Books that show writing as part of everyday life will help your child see its many uses. For example, point out the writing on the signs as you read My Truck Is Stuck.
Toys that children to pick up, pull, or grip will help them develop their fine motor skills. This will help when they are learning to write!
Don’t Wake Up the Tiger by Britta Teckentrup uses a lot of hand motions! Active motions like these while reading any lively picture book gives an opportunity to manipulate finger and hand muscles, which helps later on when writing with those same muscles.
In this story, Little Plane is learning how to write. During the story, there are a few activities you can do that will also help your child learn to write. Learning about writing is an important part of learning how to read.
Reading and writing go together. Writing helps children understand that print has meaning. The beginning of writing for very young children is learning how to use their hands and fingers so that later they will be able to hold crayons and pencils.
When your baby is old enough, encourage him or her to pick up cheerios. This gives them practice with fine motor skills, and eye-hand coordination. These skills will come in handy when children begin to learn to hold a pencil!
Writing helps build early literacy skills. Writing starts as scribbles by children. This then develops into letters, words, and sentences. When children are learning to write, the first letter they usually remember is the first letter in their name. Practicing this letter as well as their name and other words that start with this letter will help them learn new words and how to write them.
As you read a book to your child, point to the words in the title and any words written in a different color or font. This will help your child understand that writing has meaning.
This book talks about how to draw a dragon. Have your child try to draw a dragon as he/she listens to each step. Children learn to draw before they learn to write words, so practicing drawing is a great way to prepare for learning how to write.