Parents might be concerned if their preschooler faces difficulty with writing. Before a preschooler can start writing, the finger and hand muscles need to be strengthened. It is not as complicated as it sounds though! Focus and conscious efforts on developing pre-writing skills can work wonders! It isn’t a one- time event…it has to be a continuous transition from toddlerhood to preschool.
Let’s check if your child needs help with writing skills?
Does your child:
Have an awkward grip (when holding things/items)
Have difficulty holding a crayon for coloring
Apply inappropriate pressure on paper while scribbling/coloring
Have poor eye -hand coordination
Show verbal skills but difficulty transferring it on paper
Refuses to engage in fine motor tasks
Has difficulty mastering age-appropriate self care tasks like brushing, combing, dressing If your answer to most of the above mentioned statements is yes, we have simple solutions for you! Here are some fun, easy and quick activities that you and your child can engage in together! Although remember, always begin with simple activities moving towards complex ones.
1. Playdough: Playing with playdough like pounding the dough, creating balls, building models, rolling it into snakes, making dough cookies etc are just a few exercises to strengthen the muscles of the hand.
2. Using tweezers /spoons/tongs to pick up beads, pom-poms.
3. Doing finger rhymes with the child like Incy Vincy Spider, Thumbkin etc to exercise the finger muscles.
4. Squeezing activities like squeezing playdough through a citrus squeezer, dripping water through pipes, squeezing water out of a sponge, squeezing an orange for orange juice etc are simple ways to engage with your child, helping strengthen his fine motor muscles.
5. Lacing – Instead of buying lacing cards, parents can create their own lacing shapes using foams or card sheets like shown in the image.
6. Sensory play- Writing or drawing in the tray full of corn meal, sand, foam, salt or rice…basic material that is easily available in the house.
7. Playing throw and catch ball with the child to improve eye-hand coordination.
8. Patterning and beading using simple and easily available material like pipe cleaners, beads, pastas, cereal fruit loops, straw pieces etc.
9. Paper rolling and scrunching stimulates the hand muscles resulting in muscle strength.
10. Paper/clay cutting with child friendly scissors and paper pasting.
P S: It is important to keep in mind the developmental milestones and age appropriateness while
choosing an activity/material for your child. It is very important to enjoy all the activities with them,
encouraging and motivating them for every small effort they make!