As your little one heads down their early childhood education journey they will face challenges. Toddlers and preschoolers are discovering a brand new world and all it has to explore.
One challenge is learning to write. This can be a difficult task and will require patience on the part of the parents, but teaching your preschooler to write doesn’t have to be as treacherous as you think.
Following these 6 essential tips on teaching your preschooler to write will help make this process a lot easier for you and for them.
Tips on Teaching your Preschooler to Write
1. Have Patience
Like I mentioned earlier, teaching your preschooler to write can be difficult and will require some patience on your part. Try remembering this is brand new to them.
Just like with adults learning a new skill can be frustrating at times. Have this as a part of your daily routine. Take breaks and then come back to it. This is not a skill that will be learned overnight.
There are some prerequisites to introduce before your preschooler will be able to jump right into writing alphabet letters and numbers. Be sure to follow the remaining tips to help ensure a a smoother process of teaching your preschooler how to write.
2. Develop Fine Motor Skills
Helping your preschooler to develop fine motor skills is crucial before teaching them to write. Fine motor skills are the ability to make movements with the smaller muscles in our hands and feet.
There are many activities that can help your toddler or preschooler develop fine motor skills. By using any tool that makes your preschooler have to pinch or grab you are strengthening those small muscles.
These tools can include but are not limited to:
Fine motor skills are fine tuned as a result of developed gross motor skills. Gross motor skills require our bigger muscles (or entire body) like arms, back and leg muscles.
Gross motor skills include:
If you find that your preschooler is having a difficult time with the fine motor skills spend more time with activities that may help them with the gross motor skills first.
3. Coloring before teaching your preschooler to write
It is very important to allow your toddler or preschooler to color or scribble before introducing actual letters, shapes or numbers.
This allows them practice with holding markers or thicker crayons. By doing this first you give them the opportunity to develop the skill of holding and grasping a writing tool that is thicker than a pencil.
Having the skill of being able to grasp the thicker tool first will make it a lot easier for them when it comes time to use a standard pencil.
A bonus benefit of having your preschooler color or scribble first is that they will see that they can make curved or straight lines. By spending time making simple items like these you are preparing them for writing alphabet letters, numbers and eventually shapes.
4. Identifying Letters
The next tip on teaching your preschooler to write is having them be able to identify letters and numbers. This skill should come before writing for many reasons.
First, the process is made simpler because your preschooler will recognize what you are teaching them to write. They have the image in their head or in front of them.
This gives them an idea on what types of lines and curves they should be creating. By having your preschooler being able to identify and recognize the alphabet also helps them know the difference between upper and lower case letters as well as numbers.
Great ways to help your child develop the skills of mastering identifying letters include:
- educational videos
You can also go a step further and have them create letters with play-doh stencils and other accessories. This type of activity also helps with those motor skills we discussed earlier.
5. Tracing helps teach your preschooler how to write
Now that we have covered patience, gross and fine motor skills, coloring/scribbling, holding pencils/crayons, and identifying letters we can move on to tracing.
Tracing is by far one of the greatest activities that will help your preschooler learn to write. Tracing allows them to see what they are creating. It even gives them the order in which the lines and curves should go.
By tracing letters before attempting to write them all on their own your preschooler is given the opportunity to have more practice with holding writing tools as well as identifying the alphabet.
Tracing takes the pressure of preschoolers to have to get every line and curve perfect because the outline is done for them. We know they will make mistakes, but them seeing that they have created a letter or number gives them the boost of confidence they need to keep going!
Teaching your preschooler to write is a difficult task, but can be made easier by following these tips. Be sure you are aware of the ability of your toddler or preschooler’s gross and fine motor skills before attempting to teach them to write.
You may need to spend more time on these and that is perfectly fine! Remember every child is different and works at their own pace.
Also, remember to have them practice holding thicker writing tools such as jumbo markers or crayons before they hold a standard pencil. It is also very helpful that your preschooler can identify the alphabet before trying to write it.
We can’t close without the very important reminder for parents to be patient! This is not just for the challenge of writing, but for all of the new tasks your preschooler will face as they are on their early childhood education journey.
Breathe, take breaks, follow your routines! With dedication and intentionality you and your little one will reach success on this journey!
Do you have any questions? Or do you have any tips of your own for teaching preschoolers to write? I would love to answer your questions and/or hear your tips! Please leave them in the comments!