One of the most valuable things that you can do for your child is present opportunities to develop academic skills at a young age. By offering your child opportunities to engage in learning early on, you’ll set him or her up for academic success and instill a lifetime love of learning.
Handwriting is a vital skill, not only for success in school, but for success in everyday life, as well. The earlier children are exposed to activities that encourage the development of their fine motor and their writing skills, the easier it will be for them to learn this valuable skill.
Drawing shapes, such as circles, squares, triangles, crosses, and horizontal and vertical lines, is an excellent starting point for writing, as they are easier for young children to form and identify.
So, what kinds of activities can you present to your children that will encourage the pre-writing of shapes? Here are some fun and engaging ideas:
- Pudding Writing – If your child is like most, he or she probably loves pudding; so why not take that love for this tasty treat and turn it into an opportunity to develop pre-writing skills? To do this activity, spread a layer of pudding (in your child’s preferred flavor) out on a cookie sheet. Let your child explore the medium and then assist with using fingers to create shapes in the pudding. It will definitely get your child excited about drawing shapes.
- Sandpaper Tracing – Sandpaper is an awesome medium to provide a tactile experience, making it an ideal tool to use for teaching pre-writing skills. To do this activity, simply cut pieces of sandpaper into shapes and encourage your child to use his or her finger to trace the shapes.
- Erase the Shapes – Draw shapes on pavement or a chalkboard with sidewalk chalk. On the chalkboard, encourage your child to "erase" the shapes by its outline. In addition, provide your child with a paintbrush and water and encourage him or her to dip the paintbrush in water and trace the chalk shapes.
Once your child has mastered pre-writing shapes, he can move on to practice letters.