Pre writing skills are required before your child learns to write, then need to know how to hold and use a pencil to draw, write, copy and colour. Letters, numbers and early drawings are made up of a number of pre-writing shapes. It is important that your child masters these shapes prior to learning to write as these shapes are used to form legible letters and numbers. Children tend to learn the shapes in the order below:
- Get your child to trace over all the shapes above on a large sheet of paper using items such as building blocks, beads, play dough (see below for homemade play dough recipe), string, pipe cleaners and stickers
- Encourage your child to draw all the shapes using their pointer finger in a baking tray which can be filled with wet sand, dry sand, rice or lentils. You can also use shaving foam or foam soap on the tiles in your bathroom or on a baking tray.
- Get your child to paint the shapes using their pointer finger or a paint brush.
- Get your child to draw the shapes using a variety of different tools (e.g. chalk on pavement, crayons at an easel or felt tip pens).
- Place two small toys at either side of a large sheet of paper and get your child to draw a horizontal line between them. Then move the toys to the top and bottom of the paper so your child can practice a vertical line. To encourage your child to draw a circle, place a plate, cup or any other round item on the paper and ask your child to draw around the object.
- Encourage your child to complete basic dot to dot puzzles, mazes, drawing trails etc.