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    Preparing Children for Starting Big School  – Pre-Writing Skills

    Preparing Children for Starting Big School  – Pre-Writing Skills

    “You can make anything by writing.”- C.S Lewis. 

    Writing is a magical medium. It’s a vehicle for communication and expression to share ideas and thoughts with the world around in a meaningful way. 

    It is so important children master pre-writing skills in the early years for several reasons. Just as children need to be able to walk before they run, they need to develop a fundamental set of pre-writing skills before they can have fluent and legible handwriting. 

    What Are Pre-Writing Skills?

    Pre-writing skills involves practicing writing different shapes and strokes and fine motor development. The initial stage involves children scribbling on paper. This progresses along a sequential order from about 2 years of age. These strokes include l, —, o, +, , //, X, 

    What Are Some Of The Key Building Blocks Required To Develop Writing Readiness?

    • Finger and hand strength 
    • Efficient Pencil grasp
    • Object manipulation
    • Gross motor (postural control, bilateral coordination)
    • Hand eye coordination
    • Attention span
    • Visual perception 
    • Motivation 

    Why Are Pre-Writing Skills Important?

    Pre-writing skills are fundamental for a child to be able to efficiently hold and control a pencil and therefore produce legible handwriting. Children with underdeveloped skills can easily become frustrated and feel they are getting behind their peers. This can result in low self-esteem and poor academic performance.

    What Activities Can Help Improve My Child’s Pre-Writing Skills?

    There are lots of super fun, easy-to-make activities that can help children develop pre-writing skills through daily play. Children need to engage in activities that develop fine motor and visual perceptual skills through playing and interacting with real world objects. In addition gross motor play including outdoor physical activity helps to develop the postural strength and control required for pre-writing and handwriting skills.

  • Early Mark Making
  • Mark making is not just pencils and paper! Get children outdoors with a pot of chunky chalks and get them doodling. Big sheets of wallpaper are ideal or simply doodle on the garden path, a bonus drizzly night washes it all away too! Using toys such as cars, trains, dinosaurs or animals children can exercise their imagination to draw or chalk tracks, pens, stations, signs, arrows and pathways the options are endless.

    Children can have fun mark making using paint brushes with buckets of water or paints, sand trays with sticks, feathers or fingers, squeezy bottles filled with paint or water. 

    These activities develop fine and gross motor skills and create the opportunity for making upward, downward, clockwise, anti-clockwise marks which are all essential pre-writing skills.

    Other Ideas That Prepare Children For Writing:

  • Threading and lacing with beads, pasta, cheerios
  • Scissor snipping cutting shapes and fringes
  • Tongs and tweezers to pick up and transfer objects 
  • Daily activities that require finger strength eg opening lids, screw tops, scrunching paper, pegging washing
  • Construction: Building with lego, duplo, mobilo 
  • Craft: making projects with paper, card, boxes, tape, wool, glue
  • Finger play: rhymes that manipulate finger movement e.g Tommy Thumb, Incy Wincy Spider
  • Sensory play: finger painting, cornflour goo, shaving cream, sensory squishy bags
  • Play dough and tools eg rolling, pinching, squeezing, shaping, twisting and moulding
  • Child tool boxes: hammering, screwing
  • Remember that you are a key role model to your child. Engage their attention when you make a shopping list, write a birthday card or simply leave a reminder note. 

    Please check out our activity card and sheets for lots more activities and simply share a love for mark making!

    Stamptastic in partnership with Jo and Lisa, look forward to taking you on this journey to support your child develop the necessary skills to feel smart and confident from day one at BIG school.




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