Even though we’re living in an age where computers and cell phones allow us to easily send and accept letters and messages, there are still times when it’s necessary to get out the old pen and paper. So it’s still necessary for our children to learn the important skill of using these tools to write. There are many struggles that come up when toddler and day care age kids begin learning to use pencils, crayons, and staying within the lines of the paper. There needs to be a lot of patience and practice when approaching this task; however, understanding kid’s limitations and learning basic tips on how to help them will make it easier and fun for everyone.
At The Pillars Christian Learning Center in San Antonio, our day care’s priority is the education and early childhood development of our students. We focus on reading, writing, and ways in which we can make learning fun.
Children’s Hands are Small
Fine motor skills are still being developed and fine-tuned for young children, so it’s no surprise that holding a pencil in the proper position and keeping it steady enough to write is a challenge. To combat this and help them learn how to hold a pencil, use shorter utensils like a golf pencil or a broken crayon. Because of the shorter length, children will grip it with their fingertips, rather than holding it in a tightly closed fist. It’s recommended that children hold the pencil between their thumb and index finger and resting it on their middle finger.
You might not remember your child care days and learning how to write, but there is a lot going on, even though now it’s simply a matter of muscle memory. Toddlers need to learn how to hold the pencil, keep the paper in the same place, and keep the lines even. To eliminate the issue of the paper sliding around, set up an easel so all they need to focus on is holding and writing. This will also help improve their writing technique as well. Another method of helping to improve technique is to place a two-inch binder on the table and the paper on top. The slope will require kids to extend their wrist.
Obviously, a big part of learning how to write is learning the letters. Stock up on letter blocks, magnets, and puzzles so they are constantly being introduced and faced with new letters. Letters that are similar to each other, such as B and P or M and W can be easily confused with each other. Play a guessing game in which you write the first line of a letter and the child guesses before you add the next line.
One of the first things a child learns to write is their name. They may see it on their bedroom door, name tags, or on their day care cubby, but writing it and understanding how the letters are formed is another step. This is a great opportunity to make writing fun. Write your child’s name and have them copy it underneath. They can also write Valentine’s Day cards, use shaving cream during bath time, or use their fingers to write it in flour when making cookies.
When approaching learning how to write, it’s important to remember that it takes time, practice, and patience. Even a little time each day working on writing or even just holding the pencil can make a big difference. At our day care, we want every student to succeed and have fun while doing it.
If you’re looking for day care services in San Antonio, call The Pillars Christian Learning Center to learn more about our programs, curriculum, and more. We strive cultivate a love of learning in everything we do.