As your little ones hit new developmental milestones in kindergarten, one of the new skills they will discover is that of being able to read and write.
Part of this development is physiological. Preschoolers have to develop the necessary gross and fine motor skills to carefully grasp a writing instrument and guide it across the paper with the correct movements to form letters and numbers.
Another part of this development involves language acquisition and literacy. Being able to read and write means that the children are able to identify what each letter and number looks like, and how to reproduce them accurately.
But all this can sound very academic and very dry. How can we make writing a fun, engaging task for preschoolers?
Provide them with a ‘writing toolbox’
Part of encouraging writing is making sure that your children have the tools to do so.
Blank sketchbooks and loose paper, pencils and erasers, and even markers and crayons are all tools that your child should have access to in their own space. E-ink boards are fabulous for carrying in the car or in backpacks, especially for filling spaces of time when your children might be otherwise bored.
Encourage them to verbalise their thoughts and feelings and to practice writing whenever they can.
Letters and postcard writing
Snail mail may not be common nowadays, but there is a very real thrill that children can enjoy from getting a letter addressed to them in their mailbox. You don’t have to look too far for a pen pal - a cousin, classmate, or even a grandparent will do.
Work with your little one to create a postcard or artwork that they can add a caption or a short message to. Keep messages simple, with short words and sentences, well within your child’s ability to write. It could be a description of the artwork, or a recount of their day.
Thank-you cards for gifts are an excellent real-world way of practising the skill of writing.
Did you know that you can fold an eight-page book out of a single sheet of A4 paper? Follow the simple instructions here and create a little booklet that your child can fill with a short story, complete with instructions.
Offer them a fun prompt: an elephant’s day out, or a superhero in school. Illustrating the book also helps them think more broadly about plot and character, helping to develop their creativity and stretch their imagination.
Collaborative story games
Do you have a long commute or have time to kill while waiting for food to arrive in a restaurant, perhaps?
Try a collaborative story game, which can involve as many family members as you like. The first person starts off with a sentence or two, and the next person continues the storyline.
Encourage your children to be creative and funny, and don’t shoot down their ideas.
Keeping a diary or a daily journal
Journal prompts are a great way to inculcate the habit of writing in children.
Far from expecting them to write long records of their day, get them to answer a simple question every day, such as what their happiest moment was, or something funny their friend might have said, or what they are thankful for that day.
Varying their responses from day to day is useful to get them to think about different things and employ different vocabulary.
Making writing fun in school and extending learning
In KiddiWinkie Schoolhouse, children will have opportunities to learn and practice writing, along with their reading skills.
Curriculum specialists have devised fun and engaging programmes that include a writing/journaling component such as Backpack Stories and Super Readers, Super Heroes. In fact, in the Author’s Universe programme, children will try their hands at creating their own stories which will pave the way for publishing their very own book at the end of the year.
Discover how our core and specialised programmes work to stretch your child’s linguistic capabilities. Book a tour with us at your preferred center today!
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