Are you wanting to teach your child how to write their name?
Would you like to help them be ahead of the game, and be ready for big school?
Do you think it is time your child should be writing and they are not interested?
Kids Handwriting Practice 3 to 4 years:
In today’s busy, fast paced world we are trying to teach handwriting earlier and earlier. Early years foundation teachers are wanting children to be attempting to write their name and basic words.
This article has been written to help you, help your child, begin their handwriting journey. Where drawing scribbles changes to writing words and stories.
Apart from the changes in the school system, play has also changed. Games have become more technological. Using iPads and tablets do not always teach children essential hand skills. Meaning they start nursery not able to easily hold a pencil.
Without these hand skills, awkward and funny looking pencil grips appear. Kids who have no pencil control find handwriting difficult. Occasionally they find it painful. And later, they may even, try to avoid handwriting completely. This guide is here to help you, help your child.
Between the ages of three and four, handwriting skills should be about developing pencil control. Making marks on the paper with purposeful actions. Scribbles turning into round circles and straight lines. These are the activities that should happen. They should occur before we ask a child to write their name.
Without pencil control. And without being able to copy shapes. Your child’s marks on the page may appear wobbly and unreadable.
Here’s how to start handwriting practice 3 to 4-year olds with confidence:
Encourage using one hand
Help your child develop their hand dominance. Give them pens, crayons, cups and cutlery in one hand. Notice which hand they use. If they swap hands place everything in front of their body. Look for a pattern. They will choose one hand more than another.
Enjoy mark making
Encourage this any way possible. Use twigs to draw in sand or in mud. Use crayons or paint on large paper. Use spare wallpaper to create massive pieces of paper they can draw on.
Big play is great
To be able to control a pencil your child will need shoulder strength. Big play or gross motor activities such as climbing or crawling will do this. This develops essential handwriting skills.
Circles and straight lines
Every letter of the alphabet is made up of a circle or a straight line. You can help develop kid’s skills by copying shapes or tracing around kitchen objects. Draw around wooden spoons, cookie cutters or saucepans. This will develop pencil control skills.
Mistakes (what not to do when doing handwriting practice 3 to 4 years with your child)
Making them draw or write
Not everyone wants to draw. Often boys are not interested. Get them to draw shapes using car toys rather than pencils. Or help to draw a city where cars have to drive along straight roads and roundabouts. This still develops eye-hand coordination skills, an essential for handwriting.
Thinking they are ready too soon
Sometimes kids can be intellectually ready to write before their hand is ready. Their hand muscles and control are yet to fully mature. How they hold their pencil will give you a clue to whether they are ready, Holding it like a dagger. Or with their fingers at the top and using it like a paint brush means their hands have not fully developed. To help your child, encourage them to play with small, fiddly items e.g. Lego or coins. This will develop essential handwriting skills.
Comparing them to others
Everyone is different. Your child’s hand muscles do not fully develop until they are six years old. Start with tracing and then copying activities. Writing names and words can come later. Do not worry, your child will not be playing catch up. Children in Sweden and Australia do not start school until they are 6. And when you compare the school league tables they are no different to the UK system.
Let me tell you about Jack
He was a four-year-old boy in his last term before moving to the reception year. His parents had asked for help.
They were concerned he seemed behind as he was not yet writing his name. When asked to draw a picture of himself he made marks on the paper with a light pencil touch. In his picture he had a round face but it was wobbly. His arms and legs did not have straight lines.
Jack did not have pencil control skills. He was holding the pencil with a brush grip, as if it was a paintbrush.
Because he wanted to write his name. He was very aware he could not do this. We concentrated on two areas. Firstly, we helped develop his fine hand skills. By encouraging him to play games that involved small counters. Travel games are exceptionally helpful because they are small and fiddly.
Secondly, we worked on him being able to draw vertical and horizontal lines then circles. We did this by asking him to do handwriting practice 3 to 4 years activities. These involved tracing and then copying. For instance, one of my worksheets includes drawing around circle shapes of balls, marbles, pizzas that are different sizes. This helps children develop pencil control skills. By tracking a pencil mark in between two lines around circles of different sizes this adds greater complexity.
Whilst at home and in nursery Jack continued to practice writing his name. Between his last term in nursery and starting in the Autumn term Jack improved his pencil skills. He no longer was the one who struggled the most with handwriting. He could write his name and others could read it.
To summarise kids handwriting practice 3 to 4 years is all about:
Helping a child in the early years develop handwriting practice skills is still about helping them to play.
Playing games that involve picking up and releasing small objects. Jumping, running and crawling with big play (gross motor activities) develop essential hand skills.
You will know when your child is ready to write by how they hold a pencil. If they still hold it like a paintbrush then they are not quite ready.
Before they try to write the letters of the alphabet, they need to be using a three fingered pencil grip.
Get Set Write Club – Monthly Handwriting Club
Mum’s, Dad’s, Guardian’s – let me make an educated guess, you’re wondering how to help your child in overcoming one or more of the most common writing problems.
A problem such as … an awkward pencil grip / Forming letters incorrectly / Painful hands / Unable to write quickly / Illegible writing / A general disinterest in writing
Whatever your child’s writing problem, this club is the answer.
Print & go resources!
Welcome to a world of resources for working alongside your child. You’ll start by identifying and understanding what your child really needs to focus on, and be signposted to the right videos, worksheets and workbooks to take on those stubborn road blocks that previously stood in the way of progress.
New resources are added every month to keep your child engaged with fresh, exciting challenges; and as a parent, you also have a monthly Q&A session to look forward to for your most pressing questions.
Like hundreds of other kids, your child will come on in leaps and bounds (the effectiveness of my unique handwriting font is the reason why I’ve been nominated for awards).