By Carolyn Jaynes, Ph.D.
Many children go through a period of confusing letters or writing letters backwards. Every child develops their handwriting skills at a different rate. The key is to keep the letter-writing practice fun. Try these activities that go beyond paper and pencil.
- Paint with water. Grab a bowl of water and a couple of paint brushes or sponges and “paint” letters on the sidewalk or on a wooden fence.
- Scribble in the sand. Use fingers or small sticks to draw letters in the sand.
- Do some sky-writing. Sit next to your child and have him follow you in “writing” letters in the sky with his index finger.
- Build fine motor skills. Good muscle control in the hands and good fine motor coordination lay the groundwork for good handwriting. Painting, coloring, drawing, cutting with scissors, beading and lacing are all fun activities that will help your child develop the fine motor control needed to use a pencil when handwriting.
More on helping children learn to write:
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As the literacy development expert on LeapFrog’s Learning Team, Carolyn ensures that the curricular design in LeapFrog products is grounded in the latest educational research. Before joining LeapFrog, Carolyn was a reading professor at Sacramento State University, a curriculum developer for the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, and a teacher in the San Francisco bay area. She earned her doctorate in educational psychology at Michigan State University.
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