One of the very first milestones faced by kids when they started attending pre-school is to learn how to write. Before they can start to form proper words with their pencils, it is useful practice to just draw lines such as those available in this Fun Pre-writing Practice Sheets.
When my boy was 4 years old, it was difficult to motivate him to learn to write in the beginning. Being enrolled in a “chinese school style” pre-kindie means that there are lots of writing practice handed out. It is that year where we had to help him make the transition from guiding him with his hand to writing on his own.
On top of that, he has to figure out whether he is a leftie or rightie ( I encouraged him to use both hands until he picked his dominant hand – it turns out he is indeed a leftie). I won’t dwell to much into this here since today’s focus is on helping kids to write in general.
I did a bit of my own research and came out with the following ways to encourage my son to pick-up writing:
- I made conscious efforts to write more in my daily life especially in his presence e.g. writing shopping lists, packing lists for holidays, recipes or simply just doodling (I am a believer of leadership by example!).
- I also turn daily life incidences such as when we pick limes from our yard to make lime juice or the time he help me in the kitchen into little story booklets for him. I drew and wrote simple words and let him colour them. These were nothing fancy and were actually rather crude, but they were useful to demonstrate to my son the usefulness of writing.
- Fortunately, my son was into colouring then. I encouraged him to colour or use colour pencils to write. Just in case, I should also highlight that thicker colour pencils or crayons are easier to grasp by little fingers. You may wish to check out these Pokemon Inspired Colouring Pages too.
- Lastly, I move on to introducing him to these pre-writing practice sheets such as the one below so that he can practice forming lines and curves. I also like the pre-writing exercise sheets from DonnaYoung.org.
As always, I strife to make things more fun for our little ones when it comes to learning, so these come with colourful graphics and themes popular with children:
You may download the Pre-writing Practice Sheets by clicking on the image below:
Activities that help strengthen the fingers such as play dough, sensory play, threading and peeling stickers (yes, it’s true!) will also help tremendously to improve writing skills for beginners. Don’t expect your child to write beautifully or perfectly at the beginning though. It will take some more time and practice to get there.
Hope you find this article and printable useful. As always, please help to spread the word, thanks!