One essential aspect of preschool is developing the fine motor skills needed for handwriting. While sometimes this looks like a paper and a pencil, sometimes it’s simply giving them the tools to play constructively.
Don’t forget to Play
Before I had kids, I worked with testing preschoolers for kindergarten readiness, and we used all sorts of kinesthetic activities to test the dexterity of the hands. By asking kids to lace a board, draw a line, or stack blocks we could evaluate how their fine motor skills were developing.
As a parent, I look back and find that it was interesting that we used common play to evaluate prewriting skills and school readiness.
It goes to show, a nurturing home with lots of healthy playing goes a long way.
Prewriting isn’t an intimidating thing you need to check off your child’s educational bucket list. It’s part of parenting.
Let your kids play with blocks, dig in the dirt, turn pages, stir cookie dough, AND THEN be intentional about incorporating small moments of structured learning throughout the day to teach them how to hold a pencil, sit up tall, and follow a line.
What is prewriting?
Simply put, prewriting is developing the fine motor skills needed to begin writing.
It is a gentle introduction to handwriting. It’s building fine motor skills, becoming acclimated to a pencil, expanding their attention and focus, and teaching the simple lines needed to eventually, form letters.
(These beginning marks include: vertical and horizontal lines, diagonal lines, x’s, plus signs, squares, circles, and triangles.)
Benefits of Prewriting
- fine motor skills
- finger-hand strength
- pencil grip
- hand-eye coordination
- bilateral coordination
- learning good posture
- building attention span
- visual perception practice
- cognitive focus
- school readiness
The Importance of Prewriting
I wish I could say, that kids naturally come out of their early years with the coordination needed to write. Unfortunately, from my previous experience with testing kids in this area, I know it’s not always the case.
Furthermore, with the rise of screen time and sometimes, inattentive parents, these skills are not being developed.
For this reason, I am a big advocate for parent involvement in education starting at a young age. (ALL those little things you do with your kids are a HUGE contribution to their overall success.)
Sitting down and coloring with your kids, giving them opportunities to work with their hands, teaching them to draw a line, and praising their efforts, is essential to their development.
How to develop Prewriting Skills
Practice, practice, practice. Give your student a writing utensil and have them practice. It’s not about perfection, it’s about building muscle strength, hand-eye coordination, and attention.
In addition to structured learning, give them screen-free activities that will build their fine motor skills, Either through play, or helping out around the house.
Prewriting Book Series for Beginners
If you are not sure where to start when it comes to the structured, learning time, here is a Prewriting Book Series I put tougher for my kids. It covers the basic strokes of handwriting, but also includes a variety of other fun, educational, activities.
You can find this DOWNLOAD HERE.
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