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What’s in the cupboard? Early writing skills

In Part 2 of What’s in the cupboard we are looking at early writing skills.  Before children actually begin the process of forming letters, they need to experiment with making marks and also attributing meaning to those marks.

Here are some ideas for early writing activities that you can do with your little ones.

  1. Encourage big arm movements and take mark making outside.  Painting fences/walls etc. with paint brushes and water.  Get out some chunky chalks and let your children experiment with mark making on the pavement/walls etc. it doesn’t matter where as it will easily wash off.
  2. Children need to get experience of lying on their tummies and resting their forearms on the floor (to prepare them for formal writing).  So why not try mark making on the floor.  Children  enjoy creating big masterpieces, so use the back of an old roll of wallpaper or lining paper to practise drawing.  Get your children to make up a story by letting them draw whatever they want and to describe it to you. You can always join in with the drawing to help them create their story.
  3. Fill a low sided baking tray with a range of different materials and let your child make marks in this using their fingers/paint brushes etc.  If you first line the tray with a bright piece of paper then their marks will show up better.  Try making marks in salt, cous cous, coloured rice, lentils, iciing sugar.  In fact anything that you have handy in your cupboard!
  4. In order to support your child to hold a pencil between their thumb and first two fingers (tripod trip) draw eyes on either side of the pencil and get them to place a thumb and forefinger on the eyes (see photo below).  This will take a little practise to perfect.

If you want to develop your child’s early writing skills further or are struggling for present ideas to give to friends and relatives, the Little Writers bag is a perfect choice.  As with all our toy collections it comes with a detailed instruction sheet of activities that have proven to be successful in the classroom.  The bag contains a number of different items to continue the development of early writing including high quality triangular pencils which are great for helping children hold their pencil correctly.