How is your child getting ready to write? To develop the strength and precision needed for writing, the best hand position is one with the wrist bent slightly back, allowing the fingers the greatest control and power. Wondering how to maneuver your wiggly preschooler’s hand into the “right” position? There’s one simple answer: Bring out your easel!
Marking on the angled surface guides the hand into the proper position naturally, strengthening fine motor skills every time your child writes, draws or paints. As they create, kids can also improve pencil grip and hand-eye coordination to lay the groundwork for writing success.
And here’s the best part: With the right materials, all of this happens with no special drills or exercises. All your child needs to do is enjoy arts & crafts time and let creativity flow! Any drawing work on an easel can have benefits for writing and motor skills.
If your kids need a jumpstart getting their scribbling started, here are four skill-building drawing ideas we love:
- Ask the child to draw big circles, looping around and around. Then pretend the circle is a face to fill with features, or a fishbowl in need of fish!
- Ask the child to make lots of horizontal and vertical lines, filling the surface. This is especially rewarding with a thick paintbrush! Use lots of colors to make interesting blends where the lines cross.
- “Dot” shapes or letters for the child to trace. Keep interest high by letting the child color in any traced shapes, or adding more dot-shapes in stages to make a mega-shape!
- Use lots of different materials. Let the child try out one at a time on the different surfaces, or encourage a mixed-medium masterpiece to let your little artist experiment with the feel of different writing tools.
What tips can you share for getting your little one “dive-in” to writing? Share them in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook.