Our featured blogger looks at ways of encouraging children to write…
Quite a lot of children don’t like handwriting and that is fair enough given a lot of today’s distractions!
Who wants to be practising their letters when there are swimming pools to jump into, princess dresses to wear, balls to kick and a variety of hi-tech gaming devices to stare at for hours on end?
Here are a couple of ideas to trick/encourage your youngsters into practising writing (ideally in a legible way).
If your child is one of those technology lovers I’ve already mentioned, try to tempt them with some clever handwriting apps. If you have a look in Apple or Android app stores you will find a selection of these to choose from.
Apps for children are big business and they all have different methods of trying to help your little one with their handwriting. This includes tracing and dot to dot.
You probably want to have a go yourself now!
The main thing about going down the app route is that it will make handwriting fun. They are clever and colourful and fab at turning learning into a game!
Website Reading Rockets has a succinct guide to the options available for handwriting apps including ones that can turn your iPad or Kindle into a ‘handwriting tablet’.
Making writing fun
Key to getting your child to a) pick up a pen and b) want to continue to do so is the notion of having fun with writing and getting creative.
There are loads of really simple games you can try playing such as Hangman or perhaps even Noughts & Crosses. One tip is to keep games short, boredom can often quickly set in with limited attention spans!
Perhaps try creating a treasure map of the garden together, with your child writing where markers are such as ‘green house’ or ‘tree’, not forgetting the ‘treasure’ of course.
Post your child’s written work on the fridge and celebrate it with all the family. They will feel immensely proud that their work is so highly regarded and want to improve.
Handing them responsibility
If your four-year-old is going on fourteen they might be encouraged to write more by being treated like an adult.
The key is to give them responsibility; get them to help you by writing messages on postcards, birthday cards, write the weekly shopping list, using your uni-ball favourite pen of course!
Give them lots of praise (maybe even a little reward) and they will be more likely to volunteer next time.
If all else fails, then the good old ‘Reward Chart’ is sure to get results. If you have any strategies for encouraging kids to get involved with writing we’d love to hear them.