There are certain pre-writing skills that a child needs to develop before he or she even holds a pencil to write. While most toddlers develop these skills naturally just by being children, i.e. by engaging in play activities, others need to have an extra boost for a number of reasons.
Most children develop pre-writing skills through stages of development. As parents, we can also help them develop these skills using some simple techniques, such as:
1.Straight Lines Sensory Bin
- Medium-large size plastic bin/tub
- Wooden set of Capital Letters
- Wooden Dowel Sticks
- Unsharpened Pencils
Put all these objects in the plastic bin and spread a large beach towel on the floor. Let the baby explore and play on the floor with the items in the box. During this activity, talk to the child about straight lines and show them the difference between the big ones and the little ones. You can also point out colors and describe how letters are made by using lines. According to their age, you can also encourage them to write some letters using big and small lines.
- Diamond, Circle, and Triangle Shapes Printed
- Sensory Medium- can be one of the following- Rice, Couscous or Sand
- Task Trey
This activity should be carried out for children above three years (any child below this age has no understanding of shapes, and will tend to put the sensory medium in their mouth). Put the printed page with these shapes in the activity trey and cover it with the sensory medium. Then let your child use their pointer finger to trace the shape. You can guide them to trace the beginning and ending points of the shapes. Once this is done, help the child scoop out the medium from the shape for clear vision. You can talk to the child about sizes of the shapes during this activity.
3. Pom-pom Task Trey
- Colored Craft Pom-poms
- Glass or Plastic Jar with Lid
- Task Trey
- Medium Size Bowl
- Small Table Spoon or other Mixing Spoon
This is a very simple activity. All you need to do is to simply put the task trey on the floor with the two containers. Place the pom-poms in one of the containers and let the child transfer items back and forth between the two jars. You can use the other jar with a small opening - this will give them a challenge to a fine motor skills practice with eye hand coordination. DO NOT leave the child unattended during this activity.
These activities will help the child develop eye-hand coordination and motor skills. Also, they will learn to grip things with their hands by holding crayons or pencils.