How To Help Develop Your Child's Hand Muscles To Prepare Them For Writing
During your child's early years of preschool, their vocabulary is expanding practically by the day. With the introduction to new words, it is time to help your child's motor skills by helping them put it down on paper. It is never too early to begin to teach your child to write. In fact, the earlier they learn how to properly hold a pencil, the easier their early school life will be. Below are a few tips to help you teach your toddler to write.
Exercise The Hand Muscles
The muscles in a child's hand aren't fully developed in their preschool years. However, you can help strengthen those muscles by encouraging them to draw and color every day. Coloring is an important part of a child's development. Not only does it force their hand to learn how to properly hold a pencil or a pen, but it also teaches them the discipline that they need when they begin handwriting.
Encourage your child to use things that help develop their hand muscles. Crayons are a great place to start, but don't stop there. Playing with blocks and building things out of clay will also help develop their hand muscles. If you feel your child is mature enough, you can also teach them how to properly use safety scissors. All of these activities are tools that help build hand strength. They are also fun to do, so you won't hear your child complain.
Form Letters With Materials
Another great way to help your child learn how to write is to teach them how to form words using various materials found around the house. Toddlers are very inquisitive and love to actually feel things in your hands. They process and retain information much easier they are able to use their fine motor skills.
Gather a few sheets of construction paper and write different letters in marker. Have your child use pinto beans, cotton balls and any other materials you can find to trace the letters. You can also have them use clay or dough to form the letters. If you want to add a little more fun, let them experiment making letters with shaving cream. Shaving cream is a great tool because it allows them to learn while having fun making a mess and it's a quick and easy clean up.
Take Advantage Of Teachable Moments
Parents are constantly writing. From grocery lists to telephone messages, there are always situations when you are writing something down. When you sit down to write your daily to-do list, give your toddler a piece of paper and pencil as well. Children love to feel as if they are part of the process, so they will be more open to learning if they are mimicking you.
When your child sits down to write with you, take their hand and guide it to form the words. This will not only give your child's hand the added support it needs when exercising those muscles, it will also get them used to feeling how certain letters are written.
It is never too early to start developing the muscles in your child's hand. These muscles are important when it comes to future handwriting. The earlier you start in teaching your child how to write, the easier it will be for them when they begin their journey through school.