Writing is an important skill to possess, and there’s no better time to get started than in preschool, where students can explore possibilities without inhibitions. As your child’s parent and teacher, you’re the best person to observe and gather your child’s development. Are they learning the right things, do they have age-appropriate writing skills?
The following questions and tips will help you better understand your 3 year old’s writing skills, how you can show support and how you can encourage your little one to write. You can also find out more about preschool in Singapore at https://ourfirststeps.com.sg/admiralty/
Is your child developing the right writing skills?
One thing parents should remember is that writing during preschool years is messy. Proper structure and even logic? Throw that out the window. This stage is where you want your child to enjoy the process of writing in the first place, like ideating and getting creative. The goal is also to help your child understand how writing works, that writing connects to reading and communicates information through symbols and words.
To get a gauge of how your child is doing, review the following questions. Does your child:
- Express ideas and stories through pictures?
- Regularly draws and writes with markers, pencils and crayons?
- Tries to attempt to draw things he sees through lines and circles and symbols?
- Attempt to write his first name with some success?
- Display an understanding of how writing and drawing enables us to communicate in everyday life?
Ways to encourage writing skills at home
Now that you know some of the writing skills your child should have, the next step is to reinforce these skills and encourage progress. Here are some easy and fun ways to get your child to practice writing at home:
1. Start with their name
Every time you introduce an activity to children, always make it relevant to them — and this includes writing. To make writing relevant to children, get them to write their own name. Start in slow and subtle ways, such as point out letters in their name when you see them in brochures, for example. You can say things like, “This place starts with the letter B, like your name.” Every now and then, get children to make their mark on things, such as signing or leaving down their names on their belongings and artwork. By getting children to leave their name on their artwork, it’s a good way of getting them to remember how to write their name and also a way of instilling pride in their work.
2. Use interesting tools
Writing in preschoolers doesn’t necessarily have to happen with pencils or crayons — their fingers can do the job just fine. In fact, using fingers can help children develop the strength and dexterity needed to hold a pencil or crayon later on. Materials like paint or salt and sand trays are interesting mediums for children to write in. You may also wish to invest in interesting tools like. chalkboards, wood and even yarn. The more colour and variety used, the better!
3. Come up with unique writing experiences
Surely most children wouldn’t pick up writing immediately with pen and paper. You don’t want to start their writing journey on a dry, boring track. Instead, make writing fun with unique writing experiences. How about writing in shaving cream, or tracing designs through with sunlight on a window? That’s surely something children won’t forget.
4. Make letters and cards
Children love writing and making cards for their family and friends, especially during special occasions like the holidays or birthdays. Encourage children to write often to relatives they don’t see often or live far away. They’ll love expressing themselves through words, symbols and drawings, and will love it even more when they get back a reply in the mail. If possible, set up a writing station at home. The writing station will ideally consist of different types of cards, paper, colour pencils, scissors and glue. Keeping the writing materials varied and interesting will keep children coming back and eventually growing their love for writing. If you don’t have the space to set up a permanent writing station, perhaps a temporary one during special occasions will do.
5. Keep a journal
Once your child has gotten into the groove of writing, it’s time to keep a journal to keep up the consistency. A journal can also be a fun way for children to express themselves. Invite them to journal about their day at school, an enjoyable experience or anything worth documenting about really. Keep in mind that their first few attempts at journalling will most likely involve just drawing pictures, and that’s perfectly fine. Allow children to describe the picture to you freely, and write down what they say to show that their words carry value.
Of all, remember that early learning experiences should be fun, and we want children to associate writing with enjoyable moments.
First Steps Preschool @ Admiralty
701 Woodlands Drive 40