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Write with your child!
Developing writing skills with young children can mean many things: scribbling, painting, coloring, fingerpainting, using sidewalk chalk, talking about shapes and the shapes of letters, playing "I Spy with My Little Eye," or even smearing shaving cream on the walls in the shower during bath time. All of these activities will help your child learn to write when she gets to school by developing the small muscles in her hands and arms and hand-eye coordination as well as the ability to recognize shapes and letters.
Watch this video to see all of the different ways kids can have fun with letters:
Great Things Happening in this Video
- Mom draws attention to the sound that the letter “W” makes. She creates an extra layer to the memory by having the kids eat something that begins with “W.”
- The kids use lots of props to create “W”—noodles, their bodies, a long toy snake, shaving cream. By using props, the kids engage their senses; all of these things give them a better understanding of the letter “W.”
- Kids are having fun! As with all early literacy activities, it is important that children have fun while learning. In fact, research shows us that kids learn better if they are having fun.
Easy Ways to Write with Your Child Today
- Use coloring books, art paper, or even scrap paper to let your child doodle. Always have her “sign” her name, even if it is just a scribble. Her name is the most important word in her world!
- Talk with your child about the print and writing you see when you are together: read food labels at the grocery store and at home, talk about road signs or store signs that you see in the car. All of these conversations help your child understand that written letters stand for the spoken word.
- Put up print in your home, for example, your child’s writing on the wall or on the door of her room, placemats with printed words or letters, a family message board or chalk board and explain what you are writing to your child whenever you put up a message.
- Play "I Spy With My Little Eye:" Look around and say, "I spy with my little eye, something blue and round." Then see if your child can find what you are looking at. This game helps develop your child's ability to notice small details in the environment. This skill will help her differentiate between letters when she learns to write; for example, what's the difference between an O and a Q? Just that little leg!