Click the link below to read a great article highlighted in the Child Care Resource & Referral Center Curriculum Corner:
HOW DO I SUPPORT WRITING DEVELOPMENT?
picking up food with fingers
putting shapes in a shape sorter
scooping and dumping
squeezing and manipulating play dough
zippers and buttons
building with Legos and Lincoln Logs
What do all these activities have in common? They are all precursors to writing. These are fine motor activities that will help strengthen little hands and prepare them to grasp writing tools and eventually use a three-point or tripod grip to hold a writing instrument.
Emergent writing skills start out as scribbles and marks that progress to controlled linear scribbles. Around age 3 or 4 these controlled scribbles will progress to segments of letters then eventually letter strings. Around age five and older is when most children will be at the developmental stage of being able to accurately write their name.
In today’s world of wonderful technological advances many children are not having enough opportunities to develop their fine motor skills. This, and so many other reasons, is why the role of those in early childhood environments is so important.
As this online article indicated: “Children are not coming into school with the hand strength and dexterity they had 10 years ago,” said Sally Payne, the head pediatric occupational therapist at the Heart of England foundation NHS Trust. “Children coming into school are being given a pencil but are increasingly not be able to hold it because they don’t have the fundamental movement skills.
“To be able to grip a pencil and move it, you need strong control of the fine muscles in your fingers,. Children need lots of opportunity to develop those skills.”
Early childhood educators give children ample opportunities to cut with scissors, play with sand, mud and clay, string beads of various sizes, among numerous other activities that strengthen hands and prepare them for writing in late years.