Be enthusiastic: When you feel that the time is right to encourage your child to begin writing, try planning ahead. Try setting aside an area specifically for this purpose. A little table and chair that has a decently sized surface is one such example. There is an assortment of decorative and fun stationery available, including our own personalised notepads. Set up the table with interesting writing tools, including erasers, artsy pencils and maybe some different coloured paper.
Be fun: We all learn a lot faster when we are enjoying ourselves. There will be moments of frustration on both sides, but exercise patience and remember the element of fun!
Be selective: A perfect first word is your child’s name. Remember that; although capital letters are simpler for little hands to write, it is best not to encourage writing their entire name using upper case letters as this can be a tricky habit to break later. Once they are comfortable writing their first name in uppercase and lowercase letters, proceed with other uppercase letters. Choose the easiest letters first: straight lines, such as ‘L’, then move on to the curved letters leaving the diagonal letters for last.
Be inspiring: Be bold, go for a lavish dash of whipped cream or shaving cream sprayed onto a kitchen surface and show your child how to finger write his name in that. The whipped cream will taste ever so yummy. Finger paint is another superb creative endeavour, show those little fingers how to write by dipping them into the finger paint and writing letters on paper.
Be creative: Young children can struggle with holding a normal-sized crayon, or pencil. The following activities may assist for developing a better grip; block building, bead stringing and puzzles, or try a rubber grip from the newsagent.
Be rhythmical: Think outside the box! It is not uncommon for children to write letters backwards, in most cases, these problems resolve of their own accord. Demonstrate the action of kicking a ball, propelling it forwards, to illustrate the letter ‘b’ which helps make it easier to differentiate between ‘b’ and ‘d’. Another suggestion is to draw an image such as a star or funky face on the top left corner of a page or a blackboard, declaring this the starting point for all the letters your child reverses.
Be celebratory: Take the time to write with your child present; show him how you write your grocery lists or reminder lists, let her pin the lists on the pinboard or on the fridge. Celebrate the art of writing in as many ways as you can. Have family poetry reading evenings. Set up a treasure hunt and write the clues together with your child. Lastly, celebrate your child's daily progress with her, dance a little jig!