How to Teach a Nursery Child to Write

Teaching your child to write can be both an exciting and daunting prospect. A study by the Child Development journal found that children begin to learn writing skills as early as the age of three.

They may not be able to form full words at this age, but they will begin to understand the basic rules of writing. While it can be hard to know where to start, there are many writing exercises for toddlers to do at home to help develop their skills.

As childcare experts, here are some of our top tips when teaching a nursery child to write.

Build their dexterity and strength

Like any other part of the body, children need to build up the dexterity and muscle in their hands before they can learn to write. This can be built through fine-motor activities such as playing with playdough or squeezing soft balls and toys.

They will also build this strength through gross-motor activities such as climbing monkey bars and everyday activities such as squeezing a sponge or getting dressed.

So, it’s important to encourage your child to do as many of these strengthening activities as possible throughout the day. This will make it easier for them when they start writing.

Provide them with the right tools

Another top tip for helping your child develop their writing skills is to provide them with the right writing tools. Larger crayons, markers or pens will be easier for your toddler to grasp. 

A 3-year old toddler should be able to hold a regular crayon or marker but a younger child may require a larger writing tool. 

Giving your child plenty of paper and crayons to use will encourage them to scribble and draw and begin to develop their ability to write. 

Encourage them to read

Reading plays a key role in the writing skill and the more your child reads, the more vocabulary they will be exposed to. They will also learn how to structure sentences and how to other language features effectively in their writing.

You should try to read with your child as much as possible and make it a fun activity for you to do together. It’s also worth giving them a range of reading materials to choose from including magazines which they may find more engaging. 

Get them to form words with letters

A great way to teach your child to write is by getting them to start forming words with letters. 

If you have colourful plastic letters or letter blocks, you can make this into a fun game to play together.

This could start off by writing their own name in letters and will help them recognize the letters of the alphabet and their sounds.

Use tracing paper to write letters

Using tracing paper is an effective way of helping your child learn the contours and curves of the alphabet. You can write down a few different letters of the alphabet and then ask them to write over these.

As they start to improve and the letters become more familiar, you can ask them to write the letters without the tracing paper.

Give them the space to develop

While you can encourage your child to learn, it’s important to give them the space they need to learn and develop their skills. 

One of the best things to do is to give your child the tools to let them develop their writing themselves.

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