Foundation Writing Tips
Before they can begin to write children go through a stage called mark making. This is where the child may scribble or put marks on paper. This is an important part of a child's development as it helps then to develop the muscles and manipulative skills they need when beginning to write. These skills can also be encouraged by the use of play dough, threading jigsaws and peg boards.
Encourage your child to draw, colour and paint by providing crayons, felt-tips and paints. The more they do this type of activity, the more they will want to write. This will also encourage pencil grip and fine manipulative skills.
Click the pencil to view a video showing how to help your child develop their pencil grip.
Make the time to stop and look at any pictures your child produces and talk about them. Encourage them to sign their pictures (all great artists do this!) and perhaps to write a caption.
Work with your child to model shape and letter formation. It is always more fun when a grown-up joins in.
Stock up on tracing or greaseproof paper and encourage your child to trace letters or pictures.
Print tracing sheets from the Internet and let your child play schools.
Write letters and words in a light coloured pen for your child to trace over.
Praise your child’s efforts. Learning to write is a tiring and lengthy business. It is really important to keep your child motivated.
Involve your child with writing that you do. Writing shopping lists, to-do lists, birthday cards etc is great practice.
Don't forget how important your input and attention is – just a little writing done twice a week will help your child to WANT to learn to write and to understand how important you think their writing is.