5 Fun Activities to Promote Good Writing Skills

girl writingBefore entering Kindergarten, a preschooler is expected to have basic writing skills.  He or she should be able to recognize and write letters in the alphabet and write his or her own name.  According to information in the book “Smart Start,” by Pam Schiller, researchers have found that doing activities that use fine motor skills will stimulate the brain.  Great news for parents and children alike, because playing with messy stuff, like play dough and beads, is a very useful tool when learning how to write – and it‘s fun. 

Remember that any activity you do together should incorporate elements of fun, because children learn best while playing!

Along with exercising fine motor skills, reading a lot to a preschooler is the best way to expose your child to letters and words.  Reading is an important gateway into writing.  Patricia Winward, a literacy interventionist, suggests giving preschoolers a head start at writing by helping them learn the association between uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and punctuation.  Knowing their relations can improve their ability to recognize letters and help them understand how words and sentences are constructed.

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Activities that incorporate fine motor skills and letter exposure are a fantastic way to help your preschooler develop good writing skills. Here are a few:  

Textures

Print out all twenty six letters (large, bold font – size 200 works well) of the alphabet, lower and uppercase.  Using these printed letters as templates, trace them on a textured materials, such as sandpaper, felt, and cellophane.  Cut the letters out, and make them a little bit more sturdy by mounting them on some cardboard, if you‘d like.  Have your preschooler trace a letter five times with his little finger while he says the letter name.

Sculpting

Molding, rolling, and pinching motions help strengthen their little fingers and coordination.  Provide your child with a bag of beads with letters printed on them, then have your child string his or her name on a piece of yarn to turn it into a necklace or a bracelet.  Help your child bend pipe cleaner into letters.  Roll out play dough into “snakes” and shape it into letters, then into words, and on to sentences. 

Tracing

Draw patterns, like zig zags, dashes, dots, squiggles, and curls, on an index card.  Set a piece of waxed or parchment paper over the cards and have your preschooler trace the patterns with a marker.  The same concept can be used with words and letters found in  magazines.  The more practice a child has tracing letters, the easier it will be to write it later on without the assistance of tracing paper.

Environmental Print 

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Letters, words, and sentences can be found everywhere.  We are constantly surrounded by words, whether it’s on a cereal box, street sign, or clothing.  It’s called environmental print.  Pick a letter for the day, and then everywhere you and your child go, encourage him to look for that letter in the environment around him.  Search the signs, food labels, advertisements, and publications, and when the letter of the day is spotted, have him write it down on a piece of paper.  

Letter Match Game

This game is a spin off of the classic game Memory, only the goal of this game is to teach which uppercase and lowercase letters belong to each other.  Make your own game by giving every letter in the alphabet, uppercase and lowercase, their own tile.  Lay the tiles face down on the floor, turn one over and have you preschooler try and find the associated letter of the other case.

The activities and opportunities to help your preschooler become skilled at writing are endless.  Remember that any activity you do together should incorporate elements of fun, because children learn best while playing!

 

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5 Fun Activities to Promote Good Writing Skills

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5 comments

  1. Angelita says:

    I love these ideas. It hard to keep my son engaged in learning. He gets bored easily and it can get frustrating for both of us. I think hands on activities like this will really peak his interest!

  2. Lynette says:

    This is very helpful for teaching my daughter

  3. Marilyn says:

    My son has always loved reading and writing. He’s been reading and writing since he was 3. He’s now 4, will be 5 in Dec, and can add and subtract also. Anything to do with learning is what he chooses to do. It’s so much fun!

  4. Maria says:

    I think that all of these activities are great. I have tried a few of them and I believe that they will help my preschooler once he is in school.

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