Parents are always looking for ways to support their children in learning to write. Some children take it up right away, while others need more of a helping hand. Wherever your child is with writing, you can incorporate writing skills into everyday life. Here are some ideas that you can use to help improve their skills, and have fun at the same time.
1. Play with magnet letters.
Everyone remembers how fun fridge magnet letters were as a kid. You could write all kinds of things with the magnets, from shopping lists to full blown poems. Why not pass down that love of magnets to your own child? This is great for children preparing to go to school. You can show them how to write their name with the magnets, allowing them to get used to seeing their name before they start writing it.
2. Encourage your child to write their own books.
You’ll have plenty of books on your bookcase. Why not encourage your child to add to them? They can write their very own story books, add in the illustrations, and even bind them. When they’re done, put the book on the shelf with your other books. They’ll feel a real sense of pride with writing their very own book.
3. Ask for help with the shopping list.
Asking for help with any everyday writing activity is a powerful modeling technique. As writing expert Markus Lane says, ‘Children can get to see that writing is a skill that’s used every day. Ask them to add certain items to the list. You can ask them to be responsible for a certain item, and adding it on when they see it’s running out in the kitchen.’
4. Make an alphabet book.
If you want your child to become familiar with letters in the alphabet, this can be a fun way of getting them started. You can create a book with one letter per page, with a picture of an item starting with that letter for a visual aid. Children will love drawing the items in, especially if you’ve asked them to pick which picture goes on each page. If they’re a little older, they can fill in the letters too.
5. Write to far away friends and relatives.
Who doesn’t love getting their own mail? Encourage your child to write to relatives who live far away, or friends who they don’t get to see very often. They’ll love being able to tell them about what they’ve been up to, and love it even more when they get a response back.
6. Ditch the pen and paper.
Educator Penny Garvisen says, ‘Some children find it hard to work with a pen and pencil at first, and get frustrated. If that sounds like your child, you can use other methods to help them write first.’ There’s lots of different ideas you can use here. For example, you can fill a tray with sand and allow your child to write in it with their fingers. You could also try filling the tray with salt. The limits are only your imagination.
7. Build up the strength in your child’s hands.
If your child isn’t getting on with writing, it may be the act of writing itself that is the problem. ‘Writing requires a lot of fine motor control, and there are activities you can do to help your child build hand muscles.’ says Montessori educator June George. Check back in Guidepost Parent every Friday for a new fine motor activity like lacing cards and bead stringing.
There are lots of ways you can encourage your child to love writing. Give these techniques a try and have some fun with your children!
Mary Walton is an online tutor at BoomEssays and Australian EssayRoo. She enjoys working with students and travels the world. Also, Mary is a content manager at UK Admission Service, and she blogs on Simple Grad, her educational blog. Being an avid reader she thinks that teaching kids creative writing is extremely important for their development and creativity.
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