In today’s world of technology, writing has seemed to take the back burner. However, it is still a crucial aspect of the learning process. Learning how to write can be troublesome though and many children are expected to have this skill down before they enter school. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help your child pick up the skill without forcing them to stress out. These tricks are great for beginners and can even help out children that know how to write but are in need of penmanship improvement. Best of all, the tricks won’t cost you a fortune, so you can prepare your child without stressing your budget. So, this National Handwriting Day, you might get a start on some of these tricks to ensure your child loves to write.
1. Write in the Sand
One way to entice children to learn how to write is to allow them to have fun with the craft. One of the best ways to do this is to have kids write in the sand. You can do this task indoors or out too, so you can work around the weather. If you’re outside, then find some loose dirt or sand and have your child trace letters with their finger or a stick. You can bring the project inside by adding sand or dirt to a small box. Kids can write out a letter or word and then shake the box to start over again. Of course, you can think outside of the box and use whipped cream, shaving cream, pudding and more for the same effect.
2. Create Trace Sheets
Trace sheets are another great way to help the kids get the hang of the movements they need to write. Luckily, trace sheets are a cinch to make too, which can help you get your children on the right path quickly. One of the best options is for you to write out letters or words on a regular sheet of paper. Then, place a sheet of tracing paper on top for children to go over. You can make this activity more fun by placing the paper on a window or door so the light can shine through. You can also place paper in different areas to breathe new life into the activity. If you don’t want to work on trace sheets, then there are workbooks you can purchase cheaply or free print outs that can be found online.
3. Enjoy Games
Another quick way to get children on board for writing practice is to make practicing the skill more of a game. There are actually quite a few games you can enjoy as a family too. One of the most common is hangman, which can be played just about anywhere. You can customize clues to suit your child’s interests too, which will definitely add a spark to the game. Another great option is to come up with ab-libs for your child. This can be fun because it will allow you to work together on a project that they are bound to love. There are great game ideas online too, which will certainly help you keep writing practice fresh and exciting for your early learner.
4. Encourage Kids to Write Stories
As children become more skilled in writing and reading, you might use their love of stories to benefit them. Writing stories is a great activity for children that do have a few spelling words under their belt. All you need for this craft is some paper and a writing utensil. Children will love telling stories from their imagination or even those about their day. Kids can even illustrate to add to the fun. If you’d like to make this task easier for younger children then simply have them illustrate a story and then verbally share the story with you. From their story, you can write out simplistic words for your child to copy. This will help with writing practice while sparking a love of writing.
5. Teach Cursive
Cursive used to be taught in schools; however, as time has progressed many schools have decided to scrap the program altogether. Although many people don’t require cursive to get by in life, it can be a useful skill to have. Learning cursive can also help children with poor penmanship improve their handwriting. Cursive requires children to slow down and use their motor skills to write, which will also help build a habit that will help children improve on their printing. Cursive doesn’t have to be an intimidating task though. Rather, you can easily find tutorials online that will help you teach the skill if you’re feeling rusty. On top of that, you can also download worksheets for free, which is bound to help everyone in the family improve on their cursive skills. At the end of the day, your child will have picked up a skill that will set them apart in school, especially if their classmates miss out on this skill.
6. Use Different Utensils
Believe it or not, but the writing utensil your child chooses can make or break their writing practice. When your child is starting out, you might choose to use larger utensils to help your child learn how to grip and hold the item properly. Of course, as your child gets the hang of this then feel free to mix things up. For instance, one day you can practice using markers, while the next day you can use crayons or a gel pen. Your child will love playing with colors and the different utensils which will help keep their interest up. You can even break out the paint for your child to write their numbers and letters.
7. Journal Time
Children that already know how to write can actually benefit from some time journaling. This is especially important when it comes to helping your child practice their penmanship. Your best option for this is to purchase your child a journal that suits their interests. Then, set up a time and duration for your child to journal. One of the best times to do this is before bed, as journaling is actually designed to help the body and mind relax. You should add a duration to journaling time to ensure your child takes their time as they work. Just asking your child to write things down could end up with a sloppy mess that won’t help with your child’s writing as much as you might like. You might find that your child enjoys the hobby more and more, which is bound to please teachers too.
8. Go Big
Sometimes, the best way to help children get the hang of writing is to mix up the way they form letters. So, put away the paper and writing utensils for a while and let your child explore letters and numbers through other means. One great way to do this is to gather up some toys. Blocks are one of the best options to use, but you can do this project with just about anything. Once you have your supplies ready then you can have your child form the shape of a letter or number using the toy. You can also do this trick with your writing utensils, which can create an even bigger project for kids to work on. If your child has grasped how to hold a writing utensil then you can always ask them to draw or paint the item they built on a sheet of paper. Children can also make the shapes of letters and numbers using playdough.
9. Utilize an App
In this day and age, technology has become a major part of the learning experience. One of your best options for teaching younger children is to bring fun to the task by using an app to help them out. There are so many apps to choose from and most of them are free. Thus, you will be able to let your child experiment with the various apps to see which one suits them the best. Using an app will allow your child to get in some practice at times where they might not normally be able to work too, which will help occupy spare time with ease.
10. Don’t Let It Become Stressful
One problem that so many face is that their children become stressed out while learning to write. You don’t have to let writing practice become routine or even uncomfortable for children. If you notice children are not responding well to an activity or are becoming frustrated with it then move on. After all, your child’s early days of learning will actually help you get a better idea of their learning style. So, take a breather and let your child do so too. Writing will come along, especially if you keep practicing with your little one.
Teaching your child to write is one of the most important things you will do. These ten tips should help you and your child get off on the right foot with the new skill. Best of all, they won’t force you to spend a fortune on learning aids or tutors, which will suit your budget.