Toddlers are very active and love to try new things. They get involved in activities with great interest; however, if they get bored, they never get into such activity again. Writing is an important part of a child’s development since they learn to communicate through writing. Unlike speaking and listening, they cannot learn writing by looking at people while they write. Parents have to do a lot to make their children learn writing. It can be a boring task, but parents can make it interesting by inculcating various fun activities in it. Giving them paper and a pencil and instructions will make them run away. As a parent, you must ensure they enjoy writing a lot. It will make them stay in practice, and their writing will improve daily.
A 3-year-old is a very active child who is curious and willing to learn. Parents have to make sure that they enjoy the activities they do. Make an interesting plan if you want to teach them how to write. However, remember that a three-year-old will make many mistakes and need a lot of effort, so you have to be patient. Below are the suggestions to make your 3-year-old write:
Prepare The Muscles
The prerequisite for making your 3-year-old write is to build up their muscles. You can start with basic activities such as playing dough or painting with a crayon. This is because a crayon is wider and smaller than a pencil which helps a child hold it easily. Once a child knows how to hold a crayon, give him a pencil. Scribbling with markers and crayons is a foundational skill for writing. Muscle-building activities like handling utensils, tying a shoelace, fastening buttons, etc., polish your motor abilities. This can be fun if your child loves art. You can give them paintbrushes, threading beads, etc., to keep working on their motor abilities. These activities ultimately lead to a good grasp and better handling of pencils.
Playdough helps them develop hand muscle and dexterity. A letter making with clay is a good idea, but they must recognize letters first. While making shapes, they will get to know how much pressure they are supposed to put on the clay to make it the desired shape. Another activity is paper cutting with scissors. The opening and closing movements of scissors allow children to improve their motor skills. Please give them a paper scissor which is safe and lightweight. These activities will help in building muscles which will ultimately help in writing.
Encourage Them To Make A Good Posture
This is a step many parents ignore. Posture matters a lot because a wrong posture will make the activity tiring. Grasping the pen and paper together can be challenging for children. It is, therefore, important to teach them the right posture, so they broaden their wrists appropriately and support the pencil. The correct postures to ensure comfort while writing include;
- The feet should be flat on the floor while writing.
- Shoulder and neck must be relaxed.
- Knees shall be at a 90-degree angle, and thighs shall be parallel to the floor
- The non-dominant arm should support body weight, and the body should face the desk squarely.
- Pivot from the hips and stay straight with your back to the desk.
Fun Writing Activities
Fun writing activities can prove to be the most effective way of teaching writing to 3-year-olds. Toddlers are usually fond of colors, drawings, and games. Include fun activities in learning, and give them tasks such as writing on the tray of rice or mud. Give them colors, crayons, and paints. Colorful notebooks also work to grab their attention. Surface tracing is an ideal activity. Make your child recognize a letter and how it is curved, then ask him to write it on the table, mirror, or floor. Connecting dots is also a fun learning activity through which children can learn writing. Parents and teachers most commonly use this activity.
Encourage Them To Write
Children are most attached to their parents and usually love doing things with them. As a parent, you should encourage them to write and tell them how interesting the activity is. Do not make writing boring for them. Please do not leave them writing; sit with them and guide them. Even on picnics and outside the home, ask them to write a letter on the sand or the floor. Another way of encouraging them to write is by giving them interesting and attractive stuff like colored pencils, crayons, erasers, pencil boxes, neat notebooks, etc. Give them every motivation to write.
Play Writing Games With Them
You can play many writing games with children, like hangman, salt tray drawing, sandpaper letters, etc. These games will attract children’s attention, and they will ask you to play the game repeatedly. This way, they will practice more and improve their pencil handling and writing. Buy them toys related to letters and numbers, so they become better at recognizing letters. Children spend considerable time with their toys. If toys contain letters and numbers, it will make it easy for children to memorize the letter or number.
Give Them The Right Tools
Making sure that the child has the right tools is necessary because their interest depends on the tools they get. 3-year olds will lose interest immediately if they do not get a perfect pencil, notebook, and eraser. Make sure the eraser is neat, and the pencil is sharp. Even for fun writing activities, there must be suitable tools. You can give them colors to make them write colorful letters. You can give them coloring books to make them practice holding a pencil. Toddlers love coloring, which is good for better pencil holding, and eventually, their writing improves.
Challenges That Occur During The Process
It is not an easy task to make children write. If anything goes wrong, they might lose interest. Children might consider writing as a boring activity by default. Every child does not enjoy drawing or coloring, or writing. For such children, the task is very difficult for parents. In that case, they will have to spend more time making the activity interesting for kids. On the other hand, if your child is interested in books, colors, and pencils, you are a lucky parent. You might not have to do a lot, but still, some tricks are needed to keep them involved.
If a child experiences something unfavorable while writing, like a sharp pencil hurting them, they will not use it again. It becomes challenging for parents to make them write again. It is, therefore, important to make writing safe for children. The tools used must be safe.
Children have become more interested in gadgets like smartphones and tablets in the current digital world. They prefer watching videos and playing games rather than coloring and drawing. It is a challenge to make them avoid those gadgets. Making notebooks and writing more interesting than videos and games is tricky.
Physical and Mental Challenges
Some children are naturally not too smart. They take time to learn. Their muscles might not be prepared to hold pencils and erasers. The parents of such children have to show some patience and support. They should ensure that the child is not pressurized and neither does he feel bad about himself. Confidence is the biggest factor. Never make your child believe they cannot do anything; rather, convince them that the tasks are very easy.
Keep Them Motivated
Above everything, keep them motivated and encouraged. Keep praising their work, tell them about their mistakes but be supportive and kind. Children need encouragement, especially if they are facing any difficulty, as every child does not have the same mental and physical capacity. The way of teaching kids to write depends on their capability. Please do not force them into anything, and do not be strict.
There are different stages of language development; writing is a part of it. Along with writing, children get to know how to pronounce letters. It makes their language stronger and clearer. Teaching how to write is challenging, but a parent or a teacher should know how to make writing interesting for kids. 3-year olds are preschoolers, and teaching preschoolers to write introduces them to writing for the first time. It is not easy and requires patience and consistency from the one teaching.
Toddlers will take time, but they will improve with time. The only requirement is; they should be motivated and interested in the activity. Writing can be interesting by inculcating fun activities, colors, drawing, and writing games. A 3-year-old will never be interested in a boring activity. It is your job to make writing interesting for them. Please give them the right and interesting tools, so they become willing to use that stuff as soon as possible. The activities suggested can help your child learn writing.