By now summer is in full swing over at our house! That means there have already been many "I'm bored!" claims coming from my boys. My favorite response to that is to say, "Yay! I'm so glad! Now your brain gets to come up with a fun idea!" It isn't always met with the happiest faces, but it seems to be dissuading them from telling me how bored they are. While I love unstructured play time in the summer I also love to have some structured and predictable times throughout our day. I try to do one educational activity each day, usually no longer than 20-30 minutes.
One of my go to activities lately has been pre-writing pages for both of my boys. My youngest son is three and is working on holding his pencil the right way. My older son is five and is working on writing words and sentences. Even though they are at different places these pages work for both of them! It is great for my older son to get practice carefully writing and taking his time and my younger son is loving getting the chance to trace and use different writing utensils.
What are pre-writing skills?
Pre-writing is a concept that we talk a lot of about in early childhood education. They are are the skills that your child needs to master in order to write and write clearly. Before your child can hold a pencil or crayon and write they need to be able to pick things up with a pincer grasp. That is the very first fine motor skill your child will learn. Think of your little one year old learning to pick up those cheerios off of their plate. That is a pre-writing skill! More than the fine motor skills though, are the different pencil strokes your child must learn to prepare them to correctly write letters.
Which order do children learn lines?
In the early stages of writing there are different lines and strokes that children learn to write. There is a pattern in which your child will learn to write these strokes. See the picture below to know which lines come first and by which age. This will help as you work with your child, you can know which skill to expect from them depending on their age.
How can I practice?
As a mother of young children the lesson I have had to keep learning over and over is that teaching your child any skill requires REPETITON. They need a lot of exposure to the skill you are working on to help them master it! The first and most important thing you can do with your young child is to practice those fine motor skills. There are so many ways to do this, check my instagram Learning with Kelsey for some good ideas. Another great way is to practice with pre-writing worksheets. I have included a freebie at the end of this blog post for you to download! This worksheet is great because it can be used many different ways. Your child can trace the lines with markers, crayons, or colored pencils. They can also put the worksheet in a tracing pouch and use a dry erase marker to trace, this will allow your child to practice it many different times. They can also use the worksheet to practice their fine motor skills! They can put different small objects on the lines. Lining up the objects with their fingers will strengthen those little muscles!
Have fun and get those little hands working on their writing skills this summer! Click here to get your freebie!