Are you confused why your child is not able to write within the four lines?
Why he/she isn’t able to trace properly on the given lines?
This is a very important topic in early learning when it comes to toddlers and preschoolers and even kindergarteners.
So to better understand the steps involved, I have divided the whole handwriting teaching into 3 different stages. And make sure you practice them as mentioned as per the age, and stage of development.
STAGE 1: SCRIBBLING STAGE
It is for the age group of 1.5 to 2.5 years.
STAGE 2: PREWRITING STAGE
It is for the age group of 2.5 to 3.5 years.
STAGE 3: ACTUAL WRITING STAGE
It is for the age group of 3.5 to 6 years.
Let’s see all the stages one by one,
The first stage is the scribbling stage and you have to do lots and lots of fine motor skill activities. But simply for fine motor skill activities which helps the child to strengthen his muscles of the hand wrist and fingers. These activities will teach the child to hold, to drop, to pick, to fold, to close, and to open something. These kind of activities are very necessary and is the foundation for actual writing. As you can see I have named this stage as scribbling that means the children of this age are going to scribble a lot and if you are a parent and if you have a toddler of age 1.5 to 2.5 years you know that children like to scribble with crayons, markers, sketch pens, and pencils whatever they can get their hands on walls, newspapers, books and some important documents.
To reduce the stress of a parent but also to help the child to be able to scribble a lot because it’s a very very important step in the actual writing process to help that what you can do is prepare a notebook and make it a habit for the child and tell him and teach him or her that if you want this scribble, draw, write, paint you can do it in just this notebook and you cannot go beyond that you cannot color on walls with your beautiful painting, but what you can do is contain your painting, writing, coloring, and scribbling in a notebook. For the scribbling process, you can give them crayons, markers, paintbrushes, earbuds even toothpicks with sharp pointed ends cut. What you can do is make a notebook of rough paper just staple it and give them or tape or thread them the way you can or if not get a notebook for less price and give the child and to contain their work in that note. This is the most important tip to contain the writing in one notebook.
The second stage is prewriting. This is also an important stage. I’ll tell you one important thing. All these stages are very important for the child to go through and understand the process of writing. If you not done these two stages and the child is 3.5 to 4 and you have started writing numbers and letters with them and they are not able to write, parents will get frustrated as you have been teaching them continuously with their school work is moving ahead every single day. You don’t understand why the child is not able to write. So, what you can do is, give them enough support by doing these two-stage activities at home first and a single page of actual writing work. In stage 2 we have to continue freehand scribbling and after that, you can continue with some kind of focus activity.
Focus activity can be some kind of prewriting activity it’s either tracing, matching .putting on the stickers, threading, painting, playing with puzzles, paper crumpling, paper cutting, and pasting all those sorts of activities come here. I have 3 part video series on my youtube channel so I make sure to link that to also which focuses and tells you the different kinds of prewriting activities that you can do with your child of this age. Keep it fun and hands-on.
The third stage is the actual writing stage, the age group is 3.5 to 6 years, By 6 years they will develop a flow in their writing there will be concrete letter formation in their writing, but at the age of 3.5 or 4 expecting the child to have completely finished handwriting that’s the wrong expectation, you have to understand and have this knowledge that the child develops gradually, it takes time and patience from both the ends and consistently trying happens here as well. We start with the actual writing with a print style that is the script we see in textbooks that are taught first and not the cursive ones. We can do various activities like tracing letters and numbers, then we can do activities on the slate. Slate is the medium that not used much but I would like to give an emphasis on that because slate really helps the child to understand the letter formation, If you are struggling in the letter formation of your child make sure he practices on slate first and try in a notebook using crayons and markers first and then last the pencil. This is stage 3. An important thing to remember is that the actual handwriting of the child will develop after the age of 6. The finish in the handwriting that you are looking for the consistency or the flow of the handwriting that will come when the child is 6 +.
Here is the way to go for stage 3.
We started with crayons and markers no pencils yet. We did lots and lots of matching and tracing activity for maths, this is the way we go for a writing activity.
For English, we did with color pencils, crayons. Initially writing letters are not uniform, not consistent, not within the lines, and not even correct letter formation. But, instead of discouraging the child, you are doing it wrong, encourage the child they will be happy for it and improve. We did with pre-writing works and gradually started with strokes, lines, and how to contain strokes within the lines. Do more tracing work before they actually start to write. Give them different kinds of lines, patterns, and matching activities, letters, numbers. This will help them to understand the letter formation.
Now we are full-fledged in the writing and we have actually started learning words in English and we are actually writing and if you see we can write within the lines is quite consistent not completely and I told you quite consistent as readable that is legible and that’s the most important part of the writing. For maths also we understand how to write in the line.
Likewise, there are some steps involved in each and every process, in every topic you teach your child to go from basics, go slow, have patience, and take consistent steps. I hope this post helps you in your child’s writing journey.
Have any questions, feel free to post them below!