As children write, they become aware that the written letters and words have meaning, and they start to see the relationship between written and spoken word. Because of this, writing is one of the five early literacy practices that help children become ready to read.
The holidays present a number of great opportunities to practice writing with your child. If your little one is too young to actually form the letters, have her dictate what she’d like to say, and then she can watch you write it.
Here are a few ways to practice writing:
-Make place cards to put on the table for your holiday meal. Have your child write each guest’s name. If her writing isn’t legible yet, you can write the names on the other side of the cards.
-Write out wish lists for holiday gifts.
-Write holiday cards and/or thank you notes to family and friends.
If your child is too young to even dictate thoughts to you, you can practice writing in other ways. Tracing in sand or shaving cream, playing with play dough, and crinkling up old newspapers or magazines are all good forms of writing practice, since they help strengthen those little finger muscles that will later be used for writing.