As parents we can all agree on one thing…kids grow up way too fast! As they grow, however, there are some skills that need to develop along the way to help prepare them for their kindergarten years. One of those essential skills is handwriting. Not sure how to get your little one ready to write? Here are some great ideas on how to get your preschooler excited about handwriting.
How to Get Your Preschooler Excited about Handwriting
1. Demonstrate How You Write
To get your child excited for writing, first you must help them to build a connection between the words that we speak and those that are written (or printed). We can build that understanding through reading together, but we can also build it through writing. By modeling writing for your child and sharing what you’ve written, he or she can see that writing is part of what “big kids” do. As you write a grocery list, thank you note, birthday card, etc. share what you’re writing as you write it so that your child can get excited to do the same.
2. Encourage Your Child to Try
Once your child has seen you write for a variety of reasons, encourage him or her to try. Whether the letters are correct or not isn’t important in the early stages. Simply putting the crayon on paper and pretending to write will get him or her into the habit of wanting to communicate through writing. Once the interest is there then you can work on letter formation and creation of words.
3. Make Writing the Letters Fun
Creating letters doesn’t have to be all work and no play! Try putting shaving cream on a sheet pan and allowing your preschooler to write his or her letters with pointer fingers. This messy way to practice letters is a lot of fun and will get your child excited to keep going. You may also choose to use finger paint or watercolors on paper as another fun way to practice. Kinesthetic (hands-on) learning and laughter go a long way!
4. Start with Meaningful Words
Once your son or daughter has developed a good sense of letter formation, he or she is ready to start putting words together. Starting with words that are meaningful to them will help them to see the importance of writing. Writing their names, Mommy and Daddy, pet names, and names of friends will help them to feel that they have a purpose for writing.
5. Move on to Writing Tasks
Now that your child has gotten excited about writing, now it’s time to give him or her a reason to write. Maybe it’s that he or she is creating a birthday card for a friend or family member, or maybe it’s to write thank you notes for gifts received. If you write the words as they are spelled on a separate sheet of paper and have your preschooler copy your letters, it gives him or her the important job of completing the writing task, but you still have the ability to shape the words he or she is writing.
6. Celebrate, Celebrate, Celebrate
In all new things that your little one does, his or her main goal is to impress you. When he or she shows you the written work that he or she has done, make a big deal out of it. Point out specific things that were done especially well. If choosing things to help him or her to correct for next time, choose one or two to highlight, rather than pointing out each error that may be present.
Do you have other ways to get your preschooler excited about handwriting? Share your tricks of the trade!