Teaching a child to write can be a fantastic experience, but it can also be quite challenging at times. There are many different things they need to keep in mind, including using capital letters and proper punctuation and improving their handwriting itself. Here are seven ways you can help a child come to enjoy writing and enhance their abilities at the same time.
- Use Daily Writing Activities
One of the easiest and most effective ways to teach writing is consistent repetition. When they practice often, they become more familiar with the experience of writing and develop the motor skills needed to improve legibility. Using daily edits, workbooks, and other writing activities every day can be a quick and simple way to reinforce good habits in a fun way.
- Encourage Reading
Children are often inspired to start trying to write their own short stories when they get to experience the fun of reading, which allows them to practice their writing without even realizing it. Reading will also enable them to learn new words and vocabulary in context, helping them learn to spell and structure sentences naturally. Encourage them to write down their favorite words from the book as they read or words they are curious or unsure about, so you can discuss them later.
- Write a Diary Together
Consider starting a diary together where both of you write down at least one sentence every day. Ask your child to share something fun or exciting that they did today, or write about their feelings, while you write down something good about your day as well. Writing together will encourage daily writing and help you bond with your child by sharing these positive moments with each other. You can select a specific reward, like a favorite snack or dinner, that you share when you meet your weekly goal.
- Make a Sensory Bin
Fill a bowl, tray, or tub with something that your child can write in with their fingers; some great examples of fillers are moon sand, noodles, rice, or dried beans. A sensory bin will add a tactile aspect to their muscle memory, reinforcing the shapes of numbers and letters by how they feel. This activity also gives their hand a break from gripping a writing tool and allows them to take a sensory break. Playing with a sensory bin also requires less attention and focus, so if they are having a hard time concentrating or are feeling wiggly that day, this will help them get in their daily practice without requiring them to sit still.
- Play Writing Games
Various writing games like crossword puzzles or “fill in the blanks” can be appropriate for any age. These add a fun element to writing, helping it become something they consistently look forward to each day. You can also add writing elements to other familiar games; for example, you can play “I Spy” and have your child write down the item instead of saying it aloud.
- Write Letters
Consider having your child send handwritten letters to family and friends; this is a great way to improve their writing ability and is sure to delight the people who receive their letters too! Children will also have fun decorating their envelopes and putting their notes into the mailbox, so writing becomes an exciting experience – especially when they get letters back! You can also write letters to each other and hide them around the house, so you both get a fun surprise every time you discover one.
- Have a Writing Spot
Dedicate a specific area in your house so that your child has a space that is just theirs, specifically for them to practice their reading and writing every day. This area will be the perfect place to store their desk, sensory bins, diary, books, and other activities or items to help keep things organized. Make the space as cozy and inviting as possible to encourage the child to spend time there.