Just like your child needs to learn to walk before they run, it is important for your child to master pre-writing skills before they get started on their writing journey.
If you’re wondering how to get started on teaching your child some pre-writing skills, read on to find out! We’ve brought to you everything you need to know about pre-writing along with some fun tips and tricks.
What are Pre-Writing Skills?
Pre-writing skills are the fundamental fine motor skills that children need to develop before they begin to write. Pre-writing skills help your child build finger strength, eye hand coordination, wrist movement and grip strength. These will in turn help children to gradually hold and use a pencil or any writing tool to draw, write, colour and in general, express themselves. In simple words, pre-writing skills generally refer to the lines and stroke patterns kids need to master before they learn how to write.
Why are pre-writing skills important?
Pre-writing skills are essential for the child to be able to develop the ability to hold and move a pencil easily and write in a legible manner. Whenever you workout, if you immediately start your exercises without preparing your body with warm ups, you feel mentally and physically exhausted very fast. Your body just does not feel ready.
Similarly, pre-writing skills are like warm up activities to gradually prepare your child to write. If you skip this step, your child’s fingers will feel unsteady, they will not be able to grip a writing tool for too long, their writing will not be clear and most of all, they will feel very frustrated. Writing will feel like a chore and not as a means to express themselves.
The developmentally appropriate way of introducing writing to preschoolers is to start with pre-writing activities.
What are Pre-writing activities that I can start with?
Introduce young children to lines and stroke patterns according to a developmentally appropriate sequence that keeps in mind their fine motor skills. Here are line and stroke pattern milestones in the early years.
Imitate a vertical line
Scribble in a vertical or horizontal motion
Imitate/Master a horizontal line
Imitate/ Master a vertical line
Imitate a circle shape
Master horizontal and vertical lines.
Imitate the shapes of circle and square and cross shapes (+)
Imitate cross shapes and triangle shapes.
Trace a line
Can grasp a pencil in a position that enables writing.
Master cross and triangle shapes.
Identify and differentiate between big and small lines and curves.
It is absolutely ok if your child needs more time with a certain prewriting milestone. Every child is unique and they develop at their own pace. Please give your child enough time and encouragement to cross these milestones.
Here are some fun activities to strengthen fine motor skills to prepare your child to write:
Get them to trace – Finger tracing is the easiest and most effective way to prepare them for writing.
Tweezers – With the help of tweezers ask your little one to pick up objects. This develops finger strength to grip objects.
Create Art – Sounds easy right? Folding paper, finger painting, doodling with crayons and sticking activities are great to support finger strength. It helps in increasing several sensory skills for your little one.
Cut with Child safety Scissors – Use child safety scissors and help your child to cut out the outlines of some shapes. You can also ask them to paste these shapes and create some fun crafts.
Stick and Paste – Draw the outline of a letter and put some glue all over it. Ask your child to pick up lentils and stick them all around to form the letter.
What are the signs that my child is not developmentally ready to write?
Here are some of the signs which tell you that your child is not writing ready, they include;
- They are unable to grasp a pencil or grasp it awkwardly.
- They face difficulties in controlling a pencil and using it for colouring, drawing or writing.
- They apply too much or very little pressure on the pencil while writing on paper.
- They are unable to maintain hand-eye coordination.
- Their writing in unsteady and not legible
- They feel very frustrated and upset when asked to write
Introduce your child to the developmentally appropriate way of writing with Kutuki’s experts. Join Kutuki’s Phonics Live Program.
Is your child ready to write?
Now that you know everything about pre-writing skills, it’s your turn to start implementing them.
If you have some other tips and tricks, leave your comments below!
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