Writing for Preschoolers!
Do you have a little one that’s just starting preschool (so adorable), maybe they are starting pre-K three, maybe they’re starting pre-K four? Are you worried about what the expectations are as far as writing for when they go into kindergarten?
You are not alone. Believe it or not, writing for preschoolers is quite a hot topic!
Many parents ask me this:
– “Nicole, Our child can’t write their name. What can we do to encourage them?”
– “When is it okay to introduce lower case letters?”
– “Should we introduce capital letters first or lowercase letters first?”
The first thing I’m going to let you know is preschoolers, children, need to experience what they’re learning about, especially when it comes to writing. They need to experience shapes, letters, and numbers before we even think to ask them or expect them to write.
A line, a horizontal line, a circle, a cross, a square, triangle, all of these are foundations for writing letters and numbers. So often I find that we are all in such a hurry to skip because we don’t want the kids to be left behind.
I am here to bring you a sigh of relief.
Here are 5 things YOU can do!
- Shape Recognition
We want them to be able to recognize shapes. Does Mary know what a line is? Do they know that a cross is a cross? Start playing with labeling them. Can they pick them? Can they match them? All those things that you should be doing in the preschool years.
- Tracing Shapes
Are they able to trace it? Whenever I’m talking about writing, specifically in this age group, very rarely am referring to a pencil and paper. Can we trace it out of sand? Can it trace it on an easel? Can we trace it with a wet brush on the side of a wall?
- Copying The Shapes
The worst way to get a little person to copy is to put something way across the front of a classroom and have them sit because that’s already complicated and sometimes distracting. The best way is to have it up close and personal. So if we have an easel and we have some shapes in the top of the easel, preferably one at a time, then we have them just copy right under.
- Writing it Out
Once they master the above, which is not gonna happen in one day, then we can ask them to write the shapes. The more ways the better. “Let’s write a line. Let’s write a circle. You write a shape and I’m gonna guess what it is.” They love the last one!
- Time to combine!
Once they can write a circle, a line, a square, guess what? We want them to combine the shapes to make a picture. If you’re familiar with Learning Without Tears, you know Mat Man. This exercise uses shapes they learned previously to create a man, a reindeer or even a whole family. Which is very similar to use combining letters to make words. Words that make sentences.
We want to build from the bottom up so that our little people are successful!
We know what comes next but we don’t want them to skip what they should be doing. Working on these basics is uber, uber important to work on before we teach preschoolers writing.
Take a look at my Developmental Playbook to learn more and help get started with your little one!