Pre-Printing: Getting Ready to Write
Start with Simple Lines & Shapes
Learning how to make lines, curves and circles is the first step to learning to print. Give your child a model to follow by making vertical and horizontal lines and circles on a paper, draw on the wall or floor or with your finger, or with chalk on the sidewalk.
Put it Together
Try demonstrating for your child how to put lines and circles together to make other things. Try drawing a stick man, a shining sun or a house. What else can you draw together?
Make it Bigger
Playdough is a great way to experiment with lines and shapes without having to pick up a pencil. Try rolling the play dough into a line with one hand, rolling with two hands, or join the ends together to make a circle. Try building a picture with playdough just like drawing with a marker.
No Need for Paper: We’re Going on a Shape Hunt
Part of pre-printing is recognizing lines and shapes. You can do this with your child in many ways, but one way to start is by looking around your home together to find vertical and horizontal lines, curves and circles in objects. You can also look through picture books and try finding the different shapes together. For older children, you can also encourage them to identify squares and triangles.
Set Up for Success
There are many ways to help children develop their grasp and get ready to write!
You can try:
- Offering writing tools that are very short – think crayons or chalk broken in half. Smaller pieces prompt children to hold with just their fingers, not their fist.
- Tummy time! Writing or drawing while lying on their stomach helps kids build up their core and shoulder strength and stability, which is critical for good hand control.
- Offering vertical writing surfaces, like paper taped to the wall, an art easel or chalkboard. Vertical surfaces prompt drawing with an extended wrist, which is the best position for printing later.