Pre-writing Skills Tip and Tricks!
Pre-writing skills are the fundamental skills children need to develop before they are able to write appropriately. These skills help the child to hold and use a pencil, and the ability to draw, write, copy, and colour. Pre-writing skills promote the child's ability to move a pencil fluently and effectively making handwriting more legible. A major component of pre-writing skills are the pre-writing shapes. These are the pencil strokes that most letters, numbers and early drawings are comprised of. They are typically mastered in sequential order, and to an age specific level. These strokes include the following strokes: |, —, O, +, /, square, \, X, and Δ.
What are the components needed to develop writing readiness (pre-writing)?
1. Hand eye coordination which involves coordinated control of eye movement with hand movement and the processing of visual input to guide reaching and grasping along with the use of proprioception of the hands to guide the eyes.
2. Hand and finger strength: Necessary muscle power for controlled movement of the pencil.
3. Crossing the mid-line: The ability to cross the mid-line is important on the physical level as well as on the brain level. On a physical level, when your child spontaneously crosses the midline with the dominant hand, then the dominant hand is going to get the practice that it needs to develop good fine motor skills.
4. Visual perception: Brains ability to interpret visual information seen by the eyes like letters and numbers.
5. Pencil grasp: The efficiency of how the pencil is held, allowing age appropriate pencil movement generation.
6. Bilateral integration: Ability to coordinate both sides of the body at the same time in a controlled and organized manner; for example, stabilizing paper with one hand while writing/ cutting with the other.
7. Hand dominance: Preference for using one hand over the other to perform fine and gross motor tasks. This includes activities like writing, cutting, and catching and throwing a ball.
8. Shoulder and arm strength: stability provided by the shoulder to support controlled hand and finger movements for good pencil control.
9. In-hand manipulation: ability to move objects around in your hand and hand division using the thumb, index and middle finger for manipulation with the ring finger and little finger tucked into the palm allowing for palm stabilizing while writing.
What activities can help pre-writing skills:
Threading and lacing (grade activity by starting bigger beads)
Construction: Building with duplo, lego, mobilo or other construction toys.
Pre writing shapes: Practice drawing the pre-writing shapes (l, —, O, +, /, square, \, X, and Δ).
Tweezers and pom poms
Writing on a vertical surface
Art and crafts activities
Everyday finger and hand strengthening activities like opening jars