From improving their motor skills and developing hand-eye coordination to making writing tasks fun, there are several ways to make your child enjoy writing. This article outlines several strategies parents and teachers can use to help their children build interest in writing.
In today’s high-tech world, handwriting can be considered as not a crucial skill. However, before exposing children to the world of technology, it is important to teach them the basics of academics. Although technology has changed the world around us, handwriting is still a crucial skill.
Benefits of Handwriting
Handwriting has many cognitive benefits. It is one of the basic skills that strengthen a child’s language processing skills. Handwriting is also an important part of the global educational system, as many assessments across the globe are still handwritten. In such a scenario, if a child struggles to write legibly and articulately, they might lag behind others their age. This might also hinder their academic performance in the long term.
As we understand that writing is an important skill, it should be developed in a child from a very early age. A child with better writing skills tends to do well in academics, their career, and many other aspects of life.
However, it’s important to note that handwriting is not an easy skill. It consists of the development of many fundamental skills. Are there any physical, cognitive or any other issues that are stopping your child from developing their writing skills. Understanding the problems helps you to find solutions that make the writing process easy, comfortable and fun for your child.
How to Make Your Child Enjoy Writing
For beginners, handwriting can be a complex skill. Children need to follow a few postures and instructions to write desirably. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to make this developmental process easy and fun. In this article, we will talk about activities that can make your child feel better about writing. These activities are meant to develop an interest in writing and get them to start writing more.
1. Develop Their Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills play a very important role in the writing process. Whether your child is struggling to maintain the right grasp or their finger muscles get tired easily, consider working on the fine motor skills to overcome these writing issues.
Provide your children with instruments like the xylophone and piano to strengthen their wrists and finger. For younger children, you can also improve their condition by providing pop-up toys. Also, encourage them to practise activities like buttoning shirts, zipping jackets, and so on to improve their fine motor skills and develop handwriting skills.
2. Develop Muscle Control
Learning the art of muscle control is important for writing clearly and legibly. Developing muscle control helps your child to have a controlled grip and maintain the right pace. Encourage your child to get involved in daily household chores like transferring water or food from one bowl to another, kneading dough, setting the table and so on.
Children love to do activities with their parents. If you are baking cakes, ask them to help you out. For example, you can ask your child to help you in whisking eggs or knead the dough. These movements strengthens your child’s muscles and help them to develop control, which is important for writing.
3. Boost Pincer Grasp
Does your child find it difficult to hold a pen or a pencil? Do they get tired quickly after a short handwriting task? If so, look for effective ways to help them develop their pincer grip.
Here, you can make them use tongs and tweezers to develop a stronger pincer grip. Encourage your child to make use of tongs and tweezers to pick dices of fruits and veggies, small toys, and so on. At dinner time, set out a few tongs for your child to help serve food to each family member.
4. Develop Hand-Eye Coordination
Hand-eye coordination greatly impacts your child’s handwriting skills. Handwriting is a skill that makes use of the visual system to guide and control hand movements. It is important to develop hand-eye coordination in children.
There are several fun activities that you can take the help of to develop this coordination in your child.
- Let your child slice a banana using the stem of a spoon. This activity not only develops their hand-eye coordination but also improves their control.
- You can also blow bubbles before them and ask them to burst those using their index finger to develop their hand-eye coordination.
- Throwing and catching a ball is also a great activity to help your child develop this skill.
5. Make Reading Fun
Believe it or not, reading has a great effect on handwriting. Thus, if you are looking for an effective way to let your child enjoy writing, make their reading experience fun. Introduce to your child some early reading books that are fun and improve their learning abilities.
Books with colourful pictures and fun activities let your child learn new words. Apart from improving their learning abilities, these books enhance their listening abilities. To help your child improve their writing skill in the long run, make reading fun. Maybe use a range of funny voices as you are reading.
6. Tell Stories Every Day
Looking for an effective way to build interest in writing in your child? Storytelling is an excellent way! Pick an interesting book, whether it is a short story, nursery rhyme or engaging story book, and read it to your kid every day. As mentioned in the previous point, the best writers are avid readers.
Reading stories before your child builds their interest in learning the skills of reading and writing. Either choose a book above your child’s reading ability or of their choice. Interesting stories to which they can relate makes them learn new words and information.
So, be it during bedtime or while pushing the stroller, fill your child’s life with interesting stories that not only build interest in writing but also boost their creativity.
7. Trace Letters on Different Surfaces
Another effective way to make your child enjoy writing is tracing alphabets on different surfaces. Here, you can make use of play dough to make letters and words with them. When completed, your child would find it rewarding.
You can also encourage your child to write on sand in a tray. This will not only help them to build your kid’s interest in writing but also enable them to grasp the concept of the alphabet. You can make the learning process more interesting by allowing them to write on walls using erasable crayons or chalk.
However, while providing them with crayons or chalks, pick the thicker ones as they provide a stronger grip. Remember, allowing your child to write on hard surfaces strengthens their wrists. You can also get them to the blackboard to let them enjoy scribbling.
8. Let Your Child See You Write
Children love to mimic adults and copy the activities of their parents. So, to get your child to love writing, show them your daily writing tasks. Whenever you are making a grocery list and your little one asks what you are doing, answer their query and show them how you are scribbling down the list.
Also, while writing emails, let them sit beside you and watch your writing. Whenever applicable, write “thank you” notes to your child. You can even attach a note to their lunch box to build their interest in writing.
9. Create a Writing Space
To make a child enjoy writing or any other learning skill, it is important to provide them with the right ambience. Provide your child with a quiet corner to study. A space with lots of distractions like audio, video, and moving scenery in the surrounding can hamper their level of concentration and lower their writing interest.
Also, make sure to pack all the essential writing equipment into an easily accessible container. Set up the space with a comfortable sitting and table. The space must have all the essential materials like notebooks, pads, pens, pencils, books and dictionaries appropriate to your little one’s age. This will make the writing process easy, comfortable and fun for your kid.
10. Encourage to Participate in Outside Activities
As we have learnt that it is important to develop motor skills to write legibly and articulately, encourage your child to participate in activities that develop their motor skills. So, apart from making your child read and write, encourage them to participate in outdoor games.
Often take them to parks and playgrounds, and let them participate in activities like cycling, climbing and crawling. These activities will help them improve their gross motor skills which are very important for developing writing skills.
11. Play Games with Pictures
As it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, make use of images to tell stories to your child. Colourful pictures are great story sparkers. While choosing storybooks for your child, go for the ones with interesting images. This will build interest in reading and writing in your child.
Also, collect different interesting yet realistic images from the Internet or magazines. Paste those images on a notebook or a scrapbook and ask your child to write a story with those images. Here, you can prompt them and ask them to write about things that they see. Just remember to let their imagination run free. This will help them to enjoy their writing sessions while boosting their creativity.
12. Make a Journal Jar
We all know that journaling comes with ample benefits. So introduce this activity to your child to make them enjoy writing. However, to make your child practise journaling, you do not have to provide them with a diary.
Make this activity interesting and fun by providing them with a journal jar or a well-decorated scrapbook where they can put all their ideas, imagination, and questions. For this, take a wide-mouthed jar and decorate it nicely. Now, give your child slips of paper to write on.
Encourage the little one to write on those paper slips each day and put them on the jar. You can check those slips every weekend to answer their queries and learn about their wishes. Journaling is truly a great way to develop an interest in your child for writing.
13. Create a Family Scrapbook
Another interesting way to make your child enjoy writing is by creating a family scrapbook. Provide your child with a scrapbook or a photo album. Encourage them to glue a couple of family photos in that scrapbook and write a line about that picture. If not photos, they can even paste tickets, leaves and other objects in that scrapbook along with their memories or experiences with those objects.
Writing a date and a sentence about those memories can build their interest in writing. Further, you can also encourage your little one to write a more detailed summary of those memories. To make the scrapbook interesting, let them add their funny and annoying moments too in that scrapbook.
Apart from enjoying these writing sessions, they are sure to cherish these when they look back upon them as adults.
14. Teach Difference Genres of Writing
There are different genres of writing. However, most institutions keep it limited to creative, prompt and report writing. To make your child love their writing sessions, you really need not follow only the traditional genres.
Encourage them to write short poems. Remember that all poems do not have to rhyme.
Include your child in your daily household chores like cooking, baking and organising, and ask them to write about their experiences. For example, while baking, let your child participate in the process and later ask them to write the recipe. This is a great way to make them practise non-fiction writing.
As you read fairy tales to your child, consider asking them to write those stories with their own words.
Introducing different genres of writing will definitely make your child fall in love with writing sessions.
15. Have Realistic Expectations with Spelling and Grammar
Undoubtedly both spelling and grammar play a very crucial role in sentence formation, but not all at once. Do not pressure your child regarding spelling and grammar from a very young age. Too much of it might hamper their creativity and flag their enthusiasm.
Introduce them to new words, spellings and grammar according to their age and ability to grasp information. In the learning process, words, sentences and ideas come first. Once they develop their interest in writing, gradually increase their level of learning by introducing to them new spellings and grammar.
When your child is writing, be as supportive as you can. Listen to their ideas and encourage them to put the same in words. To develop their interest in writing, introduce activities that are both fun and motivating. Whenever they ask, help them with spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Even if they write inappropriately, do not discourage them. Rather, look for creative ways to develop their writing skills. You can also take help from occupational therapists for smart tips and resources to make your child fall in love with writing.