Pre-writing skills are the fundamental skills that children need to develop before they are able to write – such as holding a pencil, drawing a picture, copying shapes, letters, numbers and colouring in. Pre-writing skills allow a child to be able to effectively hold a pencil and use it confidently to produce legible handwriting.
What are the building blocks necessary to develop writing readiness (pre-writing)?
Hand and Finger Strength – Using play dough, squeezing tweezers and pegs, and singing and acting finger play rhymes can all build strength.
Crossing the Midline – is the ability to cross the imaginary line down the centre of your body. It is important for reading and writing, and many school activities. Try dance moves where arms and legs cross the body, painting at an easel using only one hand, passing a pair of socks from hand to hand repeatedly, and around the body, around the legs, swapping hands as you go.
Bilateral Integration – using two hands together with one hand leading. Try opening a jar, cutting paper, threading, doing up zips and buttons.
Upper Body Strength – a child’s neck and trunk need to be stable to support the other limbs and prevent fatigue. Try laying on the tummy using arms to move on a scooter board, practice ‘Dead Ant’ and ‘Superman Poses’ for the count of 20.
Object Manipulation – Children need to be able to effectively use their toothbrush, hair brush, crayons, spoon and fork, hold and move pencils and scissors. Encouraging independence will give children a lot more practice at using their hands with growing efficiency.
Pencil Grip – Encourage your child to hold their pencil in a way that allows their hand and fingers to move freely and easily when writing or drawing.
We integrate the further development of these building blocks for pre-writing skills throughout our Kindy days. Over time, when these basic skills are automatic, the brain can concentrate on higher order composition skills as children become writers.
We hope you can enjoy sharing time with your child using play dough, singing and acting out finger rhymes, painting, pegging, zipping, doing up buttons, cutting, drawing, colouring in and practicing Superman and Dead Ant poses at home, to build on what we do at Kindy!