Instructions and Tips on Teaching Your Child to Write

Kids are super excited to learn new things and writing is one of them. And how to teach a child to write is the most asked question. Normally, children’s first attempts at writing will be in their preschool years. This is the time when they expand their vocabulary and begin to understand that letters, numbers and symbols all have meaning. They also begin to notice people in their life writing and naturally want to mimic what they see. During this stage, you will find your young one drawing zigzags and trying to write.

Prepare Your Child for Writing

Teaching your young one to write is not easy. It entails more than simply placing a pencil in the hand and showing them images. Your child will need to practice a lot and the good thing is that you can easily teach your child to write from your home.

1. Strengthen Their Hands

The first thing you might want to do is help your child to develop stronger hand muscles. The best way to strengthen hand muscles is by encouraging your child to write and draw as much as they can, so stock up on their arts and crafts tools. According to The Write Start author and pediatric occupational therapist Jennifer Hallissy, tasks such as cutting with scissors and playing with play-doh are all good opportunities to build hand muscles.

2. Encourage a Good Grip

You can also help your child to have a better grip by giving him a smaller pencil or crayon, as these are much easier to hold. The pencil should be held between the index finger and thumb while resting on the middle finger. If your child holds a pencil with three fingers, this is still okay. The main challenge is with lefties since they tend to cover their words with their hand. In this case you should encourage your child to pinch the pen higher above the tip.

3. Keep Children in Proper Postures

While kids are learning to write, they might find it hard to hold the paper and pen at the same time. Pediatric handwriting specialist and occupational therapist Cheryl Bregman explains that you can use an easel to prevent this problem and enhance the child’s writing technique too. You can also have the child write on a slanted surface, as this will require the child to extend their wrist and support the pencil appropriately while writing.

How to Teach a Child to Write

Teaching your young one to write is one of the first steps you should take and this should be exciting for you and the child. Take a plain white paper or white board, markers, whiteboard pens and maybe even some candy. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Write down a word while he is watching you, then explain to the child that this is how he should write the word.

Step 2: You can write down the word using spots or faint lines so that the child is able retrace over the word. Let the child trace a couple of times until he gets the hang of the strokes.

Step 3: Now, encourage the child to start writing on their own.

Step 4: Check the word to make sure all letters have been drawn correctly and correct the child where he goes wrong. You can tell him something like: ‘the line in this ‘a’ is too long'. Children learn better when they are corrected immediately as it is easier for them to remember. Correct your young ones in a way that they can understand.

Step 5: Praise and encourage the child by giving them some candy. With constant practice and encouragement, they should be able to write perfectly.

Tips for teaching writing: You can also start by writing a word, then have him copy from underneath. Incorporate fun activities such as using writing cards to make the writing lesson enjoyable.

Watch a video to learn how a teacher teaches a girl to write her name: 

Tips on How to Teach a Child to Write

Children will take some time before they can master this new skill; you therefore need to be patient not just for your own good, but for the child’s sake as well. The most important thing you can do as a parent is to keep your child interested in the activity.

1. Let Them Scribble Early

Let your child start scribbling early in life. As soon as your child is walking or holding items, give him a pen and paper. Allow him to scribble, as this makes for a fun pastime and you can take this opportunity to show the child how to hold a pen and write his name. While children will not be successful immediately, it shows them what to do.

2. Teach Them the Names of Their Scribble

Experience of a Mom:

"How to teach kids to write? The first thing I taught my child was to write the dot. He would scribble a lot, so when I introduced the dot and started saying the word over and over again, he started to mimic me. Children also like structure and when you give them a structure to scribble on, they will enjoy it. After dots, I introduced drawing lines and likewise repeated the word over and over again. Soon, he was drawing lines and asking me if they were correct. I introduced circles later on and other letters of the alphabet one at a time."

3. Inspire Letter Recognition and Writing with Interesting Techniques

Inspire your young one with alphabets, as this will help them memorize shapes. Buy lots of alphabet shapes such as letter magnets, puzzles and even spray letters on walls to help them recognize and memorize. You can also choose this time to teach them the differences between letters that can be easily confused such as M and W. Of course, recognizing letters is different from writing and you might want to break down the letters into different parts. For example, you can break down ‘A’ into three lines. Make the lesson interesting by drawing one line and let the child guess the lines that follow.