Without doing any writing!
There are two types of writing: writing for content and physical handwriting. In kindergarten, they work on, practice and use both! However, due to the high reading demands and the prioritization of math, oftentimes writing skills are practiced the least. Here are three things you can easily do to support your child’s writing skills (and they don’t include writing!).
First up: Play-doh
The physical act of writing uses fine motor skills, so playing with things that require kids to use their hands to grip, manipulate and maneuver small things is GREAT. You can let your kids free play with play-doh or have them build specific things. One of my favorites to do in the classroom was tell kids to build letters and then create something that starts with that letter. O octopus and a apple are shown in the example photo!
Second: Physical activity
Our district OT always talked about how core strength contributes to a child’s handwriting and when you think about it, that makes sense! If it’s tough to sit up, it’s hard to have the best handwriting. I’ve seen it firsthand. Students who were not physically active struggled with writing. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but for a five-year-old to struggle sitting up it’s hard to help in the classroom.
Third: Read + conversation
Read and talk about what you read with your child. Don’t overthink it, just engage your child in conversation about what was read. If they’re not buying into the convo, get silly. Here are a few suggested questions to ask:
Who was the story about?
Where did the story happen?
What was the problem in the story?
How was it solved?
What did you like about this story?
Alright friends, there you have it! Go get busy building writing skills & having fun while you’re at it.