If you want to help your children make progress with their writing skills, you’ll be happy to know that there are many strategies you can use to make this happen. Children go through stages, so in this list, you’ll find activities that work for beginners and others that focus on more precise pre-writing skills. Regardless, you can use all of them as you see fit!
1. Dot Painting
Dot painting is a great activity to encourage pencil-holding. This activity can work in stages; you can start by allowing your children to use their fingers, and then have them use a Q-tip to create their art. This activity won’t only encourage pencil-holding, it will promote precision, because that’s precisely what they’ll have to be for the dot painting to express what they want, and it will also help your children become more familiar with the shapes of letters and numbers. I recommend you use printables for this because they’re easy to find, free and super fun for your kids!
2. Trace the Letters
If you want your children to become more familiar with the alphabet before you start working on holding a pencil, then tracing letters is an excellent activity for that purpose. All you need to do is print our the alphabet in big letters or just do it yourself if you’re feeling crafty, then have your children trace the letters with their fingers and some paint. This will not only allow them to become more familiar with the letters, but it will also encourage memorization, and it’s a great form of sensory play because you can use other materials besides paint, such as glitter, draw letters in sand, etc.
3. Dot to Dot
Dot to dot activities are a classic. You probably remember doing them yourself, but what you may not know is that they’re a great way to build pre-writing skills. The wonderful thing about dot to dot activities is that you can adjust them to your child’s skills and needs. At first, you will want to make them simple, especially if you’re working with a preschooler or a child with excellent motor delays. The first writing motions you should focus on with your dot to dot activities are down and across. Once you know your children have mastered this, start increasing the number of dots, add more directions and lines, curves, etc., so they can get familiar with the movements of writing.
4. Bubble Writing
Bubble writing is a great pre-writing activity that will allow your children to improve their strokes and write within a determined space. The activity focuses on letter formation, and all you have to do is draw bubble letters on paper, then have your child draw the lines. The letter T is a great start because the first thing you want them to master is down and across strokes, then you can move on to other letters as your they gain more control of their strokes.
iKids offer some great products that can assist you in helping your children with pre-writing skills. Writing or drawing with chalk on a chalkboard or on the pavement is a fun way to encourage children to write and hold chalk which will in time allow them to hold and write or colour in with crayons, pencils, pens, and even paintbrushes.